Seminar series Systems Biology for Food, Feed, and Health

On June 12th the Wageningen Centre for Systems Biology (WCSB) will organise a seminar on systems biology. The seminar is free, will take an hour and will be followed by drinks and pre-lunch nibbles. No registration is necessary, so feel free to come by!

Organised by Wageningen Centre for Systems Biology

Fri 12 June 2015 11:00 to 12:00

Room C8
Logo wcsb

Prof. Dr. Jens Timmer, Professor for Theoretical Physics and Its Applications in the Life Sciences, Institute of Physics, University of Freiburg, Executive Director of the Freiburg Center for Systems Biology

"From Science to the patients' bedside"

Cell surface receptors convert extracellular cues into receptor activation, thereby triggering intracellular signaling networks and controlling cellular decisions. A major unresolved issue is the identification of receptor properties that critically determine processing of ligand-encoded information. We show by mathematical modeling of time-resolved data and experimental validation that rapid ligand depletion and replenishment of the cell surface receptor are characteristic features of the erythropoietin (Epo) receptor (EpoR) [1]. Epo is a hormone that triggers progenitor cells to become red blood cells. As this system is under fast turnover, it is often damaged during chemotherapy leading to anemia which is treated by applying Epo or some manufactured equivalent. However, it has been observed that the EpoR is also expressed on tumor cells leading to resistance of the cancer cell against chemotherapy. To pave the way for medical applications of our basic insight, we apply two extensions of the model. First, we couple the receptor model to a downstream signalling model and show that there might be a therapeutic window for which Epo-treatment stimulates the blood-building system but does not protect cancer cells. Second, we couple the model to a pharmacokinetic model and derive patient-individual optimal strategies for Epo treatment of anemia.


V. Becker, M. Schilling, J. Bachmann, U. Baumann, A. Raue, T. Maiwald, J. Timmer, U. Klingm├╝ller. Covering a broad dynamic range: Information processing at the erythropoietin receptor Science 328, 2010, 1404-1408

Short resume

Prof. Jens Timmer studied Physics at the Universities of Oldenburg and Freiburg. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Freiburg in 1994. After his postdoc phase which brought him to the Univerity of Boulder, the EPFL Lausanne, New York University, Humboldt University, Max Planck Institute for Physics of Complex Systems Dresden, Potsdam University and Heidelberg University, he returned to the University of Freiburg and became Assistant Professor in 1998, Associate Professor in 2000 and Full Professor for Theoretical Physics in 2005. The research interest of Prof. Timmer is the development of mathematical methods to analyse and model dynamical systems in the life science and their application in close collaborations with experimental groups. More information about Professor Timmer can be found here.

Keynote publicaitons

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