Section: Research Program
Dynamical network inference from single-cell data
Up to now, all of our multiscale models have incorporated a dynamical molecular network that was build “by hand” after a thorough review of the literature. It would be highly valuable to infer it directly from gene expression data. However, this remains very challenging from a methodological point of view. We started exploring an original solution for such inference by using the information contained within gene expression distributions. Such distributions can be acquired through novel techniques where gene expression levels are quantified at the single cell level. We propose to view the inference problem as a fitting procedure for a mechanistic gene network model that is inherently stochastic and takes not only protein, but also mRNA levels into account. This approach led to very encouraging results  and we will actively pursue in that direction, especially in the light of the foreseeable explosion of single cell data.