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What about the horse part? Turing patterns on turing machines...
What’s the difference between a Turing pattern and a Turing machine? What do computing, engineering, and the complexity of life have in common?
The research group of James Sharpe studies an example of organ formation – the development of the limb – in particular trying to create computer models of this process. In his lecture Sharpe will use this research example to illustrate the questions above.
James Sharpe was originally captivated by computer programming, but upon learning about the digital nature of the genetic code, chose to study Biology for his undergraduate degree at Oxford Univeristy (1988-1991). He then pursued a PhD on the genetic control of embryo development at NIMR, London (1992-1997) and in parallel started developing computer simulations of multicellular development.
During his post-doc in Edinburgh, he began modelling the dynamics of limb development, and also invented a new optical imaging technology called Optical Projection Tomography (OPT), which is dedicated to imaging tissues and organs that are too large for normal microscopy. In 2006 he moved to Barcelona, becoming a senior group leader at the Centre for Genomic Regulation, and later becoming the coordinator of the CRG’s Systems Biology Program. His group focused on a systems biology approach to modelling limb development – combining lab experimentation with computer modelling. With this interdisciplinary approach the group demonstrated that the signalling proteins which pattern the fingers during embryogenesis, act as a Turing reaction-diffusion system.
In 2017 he left the CRG, and became the Head of the new EMBL Unit in Barcelona, which focuses on Tissue Biology and Disease Modelling. There his research continues to focus on the imaging and modelling of various examples of multicellular organisation.
This lecture is part of the Lorentz Center workshop Modeling Shape and Size in Biological Development that is organized online from 24-28 August 2020.