Our seminar series is free and available for anyone to attend. Unless otherwise stated, seminars take place on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm in the Kilburn Building during teaching season.

If you wish to propose a seminar speaker please contact Antoniu Pop.


Mining real-world networks: from biology to economics

  • Speaker:   Dr.  Natasa Przulj  (Imperial College, London)
  • Host:   Pedro Mendes
  • 17th February 2015 at 14:00 in Kilburn L.T. 1.3
We are faced with a flood of molecular data. Various biomolecules interact in a cell to perform biological function, forming very large networks. The challenge is how to mine these molecular networks to answer fundamental questions, including gaining new insight into aging, diseases, and improving therapeutics. Just as computational approaches for analyzing genetic sequence data have revolutionized biological understanding, the expectation is that analyses of biological networks will have similar ground-breaking impacts. However, dealing with network data is nontrivial, since many methods for analyzing large networks fall into the category of computationally intractable problems. We develop methods for extracting new biological knowledge from the wiring patterns of large molecular network data, linking network wiring with biological function and translating the information hidden in the wiring patterns into everyday language. We apply our methods to other domains, including tracking the dynamics of the world trade network and finding new insights into the origins of wealth and economic crises.
Dr. Natasa Przulj is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computing, Imperial College London. At Imperial, she is also a member of the Institute of Systems and Synthetic Biology, the Centre for Bioinformatics, and the Centre for Integrative Systems Biology(CISBIC). She was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University of California Irvine from 2005 to 2009. She obtained a PhD in Computer Science from University of Toronto, Canada, in 2005.

Dr. Przulj is a Fellow of the British Computer Society.In 2014, she was awarded the British Computer Society Roger Needham Award for a distinguished research contribution in computer science by a UK based researcher within ten years of their PhD. In 2013, she was elected into the Young Academy of Europe.She received a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Independent Researcher Grant for 2012-2017 for her project titled "Biological Network Topology Complements Genome as a Source of Biological Information". She held a prestigious NSF CAREER Award for the project titled "Tools for Analyzing, Modeling, and Comparing Protein-Protein Interaction Networks" in 2007-2011 at University of California Irvine. Her research has also been supported by other large governmental and industrial grants including those from GlaxoSmithKline, IBM and Google.

Dr Przulj is renowned for initiating extraction of biological knowledge purely from topology of real-world networks.That is, she views large and complex biological networks as a new source of biological information that needs to be mined, and looks for links between network topology in protein-protein interaction networks and biological function and involvement of proteins in disease.Her recent work includes integration and dynamics of heterogeneous network data, applied to many areas of systems biology and medicine, as well as to economics.)
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