Stochastic processes in cells and tissues

Chemical reactions serve as central units for cellular information processing and control. However, reaction chemistry inside cells is “noisy”, leading to significant variability in the molecular constitution of living systems. How can we reconcile the large degree of stochasticity in intracellular chemistry with the high degree of spatiotemporal control that is required for forming and maintaining a complex multicellular organism? In the Zechner lab, we merge signal and control theory with statistical physics to address this question. We develop effective computational methods to analyze stochastic biological processes across scales, and to reverse-engineer their dynamical features from experimental data. We apply these techniques to different biological systems in collaboration with experimentalists at the MPI-CBG and elsewhere.

Methodological and Technical Expertise

  • Stochastic biological networks
  • Statistical inference of single-cell / single-molecule data
  • Biological signal processing