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"Kepler Prize"  of the European Academy of Sciences

The starting Kepler workshop has been dedicated to Modelling and Simulation in the Life Sciences and is planned to take place in Heidelberg (Germany) in 2011, in cooperation with the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (HAW), the State Academy of Baden-Württemberg.

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The winning team of the Kepler Prize 2010 :

Dr. Giulia Ajmone Marsan - France (Italian nationality)
Full-time consultant at the Regional Development Policy Division under the Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate (GOV/RDP), OECD, Paris, France

Dr. Marcello Delitala –Italy
Assistant Professor, Mathematical Physics (disciplinary sector MAT07), Department of Mathematics - Politecnico di Torino - Italy.

Dr. Andrea Picco –Germany (Italian nationality)
Postdoctoral Fellow (EIPOD) European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit, Kaksonen Group. Heidelberg, Germany

Workshop project abstract :

Managing complexity, reducing perplexity : a workshop on Complex Living Systems.

The Workshop “Managing complexity, reducing perplexity” aims participants at examining part of the state of the art of a relatively new field of scientific research: the study and manage - in scientific terms - of the complexity of living systems: that is, the description of new mathematical paradigms more adherent to reality, able to generate models, both exploratory and predictive, capable to achieve a deeper insight into life science phenomena, and ultimately a better understanding, forecast and control of them.

Managing complexity means to identify the "complexity" features of a system, to handle them and to learn the characteristic feature of the system that underly the complex behaviour. Managing complexity in life science systems involves modelling complex dynamics, highlighting the possible arise of new structures and emerging patterns, investigating their robustness against perturbations, searching for any common features that govern the ways in which collective behaviours occur. A mathematical approach aims to provide useful tools to understand the global properties of a living system, by capturing the essential features of the complex system, by learning how to describe them effectively and, ultimately, how to control them: in two words, reducing perplexity.

The Workshop will recruit motivated researchers from various backgrounds to establish a highly interdisciplinar and talkative environment. Participants are expected to share experiences, problems and results achieved working on the edge between mathematics, physics, computer sciences and life sciences, identifying common ground for futher collaborations. The Workshop will be focused on frontbreaking and challenging topics of Biomathematics such as, cell biophysics, tissue morphogenesis and multiscale cancer modelling. Each Session will be opened by an introductory lecture given by scientists from different background that are working in the life sciences with an interdisciplinar approach and it will be an occasion to promote exchanges between different scientific communities. Moreover the workshop aims to review part of the state of the art of complex living systems and to identify the main directions of future researches and projects. The organization of working groups which will be active on specific topics during the whole duration of the workshop will be an additional opportunity to promote collaborations and exchange of experiences.

Presentation texts by our Kepler winners 2010

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In her education path, Giulia Ajmone Marsan first developed her methodological background with a Bachelor and a Master degree in Applied Mathematics at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy. Then, she moved to the field of Economics, Social Sciences and Complexity for her PhD, which was jointly awarded by the IMT – Lucca Institute for Advanced Studies, Italy, and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France. She now works at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, where she studies complex socio-economic systems by means of network approaches. She keeps strong links with the academic research world, in order to develop new methodologies and models apt to investigate complexity in social sciences.

 Doctor Marcello Delitala

Marcello Delitala was born on December 19, 1975, in Asti, Italy. He graduated in Theoretical Physics at the University of Turin in 2000, and then he took the Ph.D. in Mathematics for Engineering Sciences at the Politecnico of Torino in March 2005. In November 2008, he got the “Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches” in Applied Mathematics at the University of Toulouse, France. He currently is Assistant Professor in Mathematical Physics at the Department of Mathematics of the Politecnico di Torino, where he is teacher of some courses in Applied Mathematics. Author, or Co-Author, of several scientific papers, he is Principal Investigator of FIRB Project granted by the Italian Ministry of Research and University, related to the IDEAS-ERC Starting Grant 2008.His research activity is mainly focused on the modelling, qualitative and computational analysis of complex living systems.

 Doctor Andrea Picco

Andrea Picco : My background is in theoretical physics. During my PhD studies I worked on the modeling of signal tansduction pathways focusing on the signaling that drives cell survival and apoptosis in endothelial cells. Currently I am an EMBL Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral (EIPOD) fellow at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. My research interests cover dynamics of membrane trafficking and endocytosis. I work on Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model organism combining live-cell imaging and numerical simulations. My aim is to quantify on a nanometer scale the dynamics of proteins involved in clathrin mediated endocytosis, in order to describe in detail the mechanisms and the physical properties underlying the formation of the endocytic vesicle.