GSI-FAIR Colloquium

The statistical physics of evolutionary predictions

by Michael Lässig (U Köln)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 from to (Europe/Berlin)
at GSI ( Main Lecture Hall )
Predictions of future evolutionary processes have recently been developed for a number of systems, including fast-evolving pathogens and cancer populations. The physical basis of evolutionary predictions is two-fold. Biophysical traits, including protein folding stability and pathogen interactions with the host's immune system, have proven informative for predictive models. Second, host and pathogens have a dynamics depending on mutual interactions, the analysis of which draws heavily on non-equilibrium statistical mechanics.  These links highlight the key role of physics in making evolutionary biology a predictive science. I will discuss the current status of evolutionary predictions and map the path from predictions to evolutionary control. This has direct applications in public health: to produce better vaccines for influenza and to improve cancer therapies.