BMC Seminar Thursday November 2nd at 12:00 in room 343, Læknagarður
Presenter: James T. Yurkovich, Ph.D. Candidate, UC San Diego, Faculty adviser: Bernhard O. Palsson
Title: The Systems Biology of Red Cell Metabolism: Physiology Under Storage Conditions
Abstract: The large-scale generation of “-omic” data holds the potential to increase and deepen our understanding of biological phenomena, but the ability to synthesize information and extract knowledge from these data represents a significant challenge. Systems biology overcomes this hurdle through the integration of disparate -omic data types. The human red blood cell (RBC) has long been a starting point for the development and application of systems biology approaches because of its simplicity, intrinsic accessibility, and importance to human health. In particular, understanding the biochemical and morphological changes that occur in RBCs during cold storage (the “storage lesion”) are vital to the transfusion community. Here, we outline several computational approaches that provide an integrative, systems-level view of RBC metabolism. In particular, we demonstrate how metabolomics data can be used to (1) understand the flux state of the network, (2) elucidate the temperature dependence of the human metabolic network, and (3) provide early detection for abnormal metabolic trajectories. Together, these results bring the community one step closer toward a comprehensive, cell-scale model of the RBC that is capable of generating experimentally-testable hypotheses and predicting cellular phenotypes.
Bio: James received his B.S. in Electrical with a concentration in biosystems from the University of Notre Dame in 2013. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology under the guidance of Prof. Bernhard O. Palsson at the University of California, San Diego with expected graduation in the first quarter of 2018. James' dissertation research has focused on using systems biology to understand how red cell metabolism is linked to phenotypic states observed during the storage of cells for use in transfusion medicine.