The first QBIOX Colloquium will take place on Friday 25th November (7th week), and feature talks from Professor Hagan Bayley (Department of Chemistry) and Dr Omer Dushek (Dunn School of Pathology).
1400-1430 - Omer Dushek, "Architecture of a minimal signalling pathway explains the T cell response to a 1,000,000-fold variation in ligand affinity and dose".
1430-1530 - Hagan Bayley, "Synthetic tissues from communicating droplet networks".
1530-1630 - Tea, coffee, cake and networking.
We hope to see you there!
Omer Dushek - "Architecture of a minimal signalling pathway explains the T cell response to a 1,000,000-fold variation in ligand affinity and dose"
T cells initiate and regulate adaptive immune responses when their T-cell antigen receptors recognize antigen ligands. The T cell response is known to depend on the ligand affinity/dose, but the mechanisms employed by the T cell signalling machinery to convert the ligand input into an output response are debated. To resolve the debate, we stimulated T cells with ligands spanning a 1 million-fold range in affinity/dose. We found that a different ligand (and hence different affinity) produced the largest T cell response at different doses. Using adaptive inference algorithms, we identified a simple mechanistic model of signalling that can predict the T cell response from the physiological low-affinity regime into the high-affinity regime applicable to therapeutic receptors. We are now scaling up the approach to study a number of accessory receptors on the T cell surface.
Hagan Bayley - "Synthetic tissues from communicating droplet networks"
Synthetic biology is being used to build devices through both top-down and bottom-up approaches. For example, genome engineering has been used to reprogram cells, and DNA origami has been used to produce a variety of nanodevices. While progress has been made on the bottom-up assembly of minimal cells, synthetic tissues have so far received limited attention. We have assembled networks of aqueous droplets joined by lipid bilayers. The droplets in the networks can communicate with each other and with the environment through engineered protein pores. To mimic tissues, droplet networks should be endowed with various properties including the ability to store and use energy, to move and change shape, to detect signals, to carry out computations and take up and release molecules. To a modest degree, these goals have been achieved and like tissues the networks can exhibit emergent properties. Further, designed networks of many thousands of droplets have been fabricated by 3D printing. We aim to interface droplet networks with living tissues and control them with electrical or optical signals. In this talk, unexplored theoretical and computational issues pertaining to synthetic tissues will be highlighted.