July 2 (Mon) at 15:00 - 16:30, 2018 (JST)
  • Prof. Albert Goldbeter (Professor, Unit of Theoretical Chronobiology, Faculty of Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)

Rhythmic phenomena occur at all levels of biological organization, with periods ranging from milliseconds to years. Among biological rhythms, circadian clocks, of a period close to 24h, play a key role as they allow the adaptation of living organisms to the alternation of day and night. Biological rhythms represent a phenomenon of temporal self-organization in the form of sustained oscillations of the limit cycle type. Mathematical models show how the emergent property of oscillatory behavior arises from molecular interactions in cellular regulatory networks, which explains why cellular rhythms represent a major research topic in systems biology. After providing an introduction to biological rhythms and their modeling, I will focus on mathematical models for two major examples of rhythmic behavior at the cellular level : the circadian clock and the cell cycle. The coupling of these rhythms allows for their synchronization and for the occurrence of more complex patterns of oscillatory behavior. I will discuss the reasons why models for cellular rhythms tend to become more complex, upon incorporating new experimental observations. The case of cellular rhythms allows us to compare the merits of simple versus complex models for the dynamics of biological systems.


  • Goldbeter A. 1996 Biochemical Oscillations and Cellular Rhythms. The molecular bases of periodic and chaotic behaviour.Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK.
  • Goldbeter A. 2002 Computational approaches to cellular rhythms. Nature 420,238-45.
  • Leloup J-C, Goldbeter A. 2003 Toward a detailed computational model for the mammalian circadian clock. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100, 7051-56.
  • Gérard C, Goldbeter A. 2009 Temporal self-organization of the cyclin/Cdk network driving the mammalian cell cycle. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106, 21643-48.
  • Gérard C, Goldbeter A. 2012 Entrainment of the mammalian cell cycle by the circadian clock : Modeling two coupled cellular rhythms. PLoS Comput. Biol. 8 (5): e1002516.
  • Goldbeter A, Gérard C, Gonze D, Leloup J-C, Dupont G. 2012 Systems biology of cellular rhythms. FEBS Lett. 586, 2955-65.
  • Goldbeter A. 2017 Dissipative structures and biological rhythms. Chaos 27, 104612.
  • Goldbeter A. 2018 Dissipative structures in biological systems: bistability, oscillations, spatial patterns and waves. Phil. Tran. R. Soc. A, in press.