Scientific Calendar Event

The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in collaboration with the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) and the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP) is organizing the Workshop on Systems Biology and Molecular Economy of Microbial Communities, to be held in Trieste from 3 to 7 July 2017.
Every living cell needs to solve a complex resource allocation problem. Most microbial cells typically address this task within a spatially structured, variable environment, where a myriad of different cells are concurrently allocating their own resources. Will we ever understand the dynamics of these communities, their diversity and stability? A fundamental theme in the study of human-associated microbial communities, the tension between metabolic requirements of individual cells and the global molecular budget of a whole cell population is at the heart of open biomedical challenges. The key element in addressing these questions is their multiscale nature: mutations and regulation happen at the level of individual genes; metabolic processes involve the balance of cell-scale pathways; biomedically relevant phenotypes depend on the interactions among multiple cells in heterogenous environments. The Workshop aims at bringing together researchers interested in the principles underlying microbial community dynamics and organization, both from an experimental and a mathematical/computational perspective. Participants will compare different methodologies to better integrate quantitative approaches and data gathering efforts, including the creative use of new mathematical tools, high performance computing algorithms and new ways of integrating experimental measurements and computational models.

  • Ecological and evolutionary dynamics / Ecological models of microbial communities; Population and evolutionary dynamics; Game theoretic approaches to cooperation, cross-feeding and competition
  • Spatio-temporal dynamics of microbial consortia
  • Synthetic biology and synthetic ecology
  • General Equilibrium Economics of metabolic production in microbial communities
  • Stoichiometric models of metabolism, from genomes to ecosystems
  • Cell-to-cell signaling and quorum sensing
  • Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic methods for communities
  • Host-microbe interaction / Microbe-host interaction (e.g. antibiotic resistance); Human microbiome, systemic stability and disease; Plant resistance); Human microbiome, systemic stability and disease; Plant microbiome, parasites and diseases

A limited number of grants are available to support the attendance of selected participants, with priority given to participants from developing countries (see list here) and ICGEB Member State nationals (see list here).
There are no registration fees.

The Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP) supports a limited number of participants from the Asia Pacific Region. Specifically, participants holding nationality of APCTP Member Countries (see list here), particularly those at the early stages of their career, can apply for grants to support their participation. Grants can partially cover the airfare and/or local expenses.
Participants from non-member countries are not qualified for the grant in principle, but a limited exception may be considered if participants are affiliated at APCTP partner institutes (see list here).
Go to day
  • Monday, 3 July 2017
    • 08:00 - 20:30 Monday 3 July
      Location: Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall
      • 08:00 Registration & Administrative formalities 2h0'
        Slot reserved for Participants not staying in ICTP Guesthouses & Speakers.
        (Participants staying in ICTP Guesthouses will register upon check-in at the Guesthouse Reception desks.)
        AFTER registration, Visitors funded by the ICTP must collect their dues at the Operations Office c/o E. Fermi building, ground floor (Mon, Tue & Fri, 8:30-12:00/13:30-14:30).
      • 10:00 Welcome Address 20'
      • 10:20 Introductory lecture - Computational Biology of Microbial Communities 40'
        Speaker: Daniel SEGRÈ (Boston University)
        Material: Video
      • 11:00 Introductory lecture - The Ecology of Microbial Communities 40'
        Speaker: Simon LEVIN (Princeton University)
        Material: Slides Video
      • 11:40 Introductory lecture - Quorum Sensing in Plant-Associated Bacteria 40'
        Speaker: Vittorio VENTURI (ICGEB)
        Material: Video
      • 12:20 Lunch break 1h40' ( Leonardo Building - Cafeteria )
      • 14:00 Quorum Sensing, Cooperation and Conflict in Populations of the Opportunistic Pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa 40'
        Speaker: Peter GREENBERG (University of Washington)
        Material: Video
      • 14:40 Control of Bacterial Primary Metabolism by Quorum Sensing 40'
        Speaker: Ingyu HWANG (Seoul National U.)
        Material: Video
      • 15:20 Coffee break 40' ( Leonardo Building - Terrace )
      • 16:00 Microbial Ecology in the Human Large Intestine - On Water Flow and Growth Dynamics of Primary Fermenters 40'
        Speaker: Jonas CREMER (UCSD)
        Material: Video
      • 16:40 Evolution of Community Function 40'
        Speaker: Wenying SHOU (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)
        Material: Video
      • 19:00 Get-together for all Participants 1h30' ( Adriatico Guest House - Terrace )
  • Tuesday, 4 July 2017
    • 09:00 - 13:40 Tuesday 4 July
      Location: Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall
      • 09:00 Coexistence and Stability in Antibiotic-Mediated Microbial Communities 40'
        Speaker: Roy KISHONY (Technion - Israel Institute of Technology)
        Material: Video
      • 09:40 The Impact of Ecology and Geometry on the Molecular Economy of a Synthetic Microbial System 40'
        Speaker: William HARCOMBE (University of Minnesota)
        Material: Video
      • 10:20 Coffee break 40' ( Leonardo Building - Terrace )
      • 11:00 Quorum Sensing as a Target for Antivirulence Therapy 40'
        Speaker: Livia LEONI (UniRoma 3)
        Material: Video
      • 11:40 Genomic Screening of Complex Microbial Communities Using Microfluidics-Based Minimetagenomics 40'
        Speaker: Bojk BERGHUIS (Stanford University)
        Material: Video
      • 12:20 Lunch break 1h20' ( Leonardo Building - Cafeteria )
    • 14:00 - 17:00 POSTER SESSION
      Location: Leonardo Building - Lobby
      • 14:00 Poster session 1h20'
      • 15:20 Coffee break 40' ( Leonardo Building - Terrace )
      • 16:00 Poster session 1h0'
  • Wednesday, 5 July 2017
    • 09:00 - 12:30 Wednesday 5 July
      Location: Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall
      • 09:00 Learning about Microbial Communities from the Social Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum 40'
        Speaker: Corina TARNITA (Princeton University)
        Material: Video
      • 09:40 Environmental Modulation of Microbial Community Structure 40'
        Speaker: Jeff GORE (MIT)
        Material: Video
      • 10:20 Coffee break 40' ( Leonardo Building - Terrace )
      • 11:00 Human Gut Microbes impact Host Serum Metabolome and Insulin Sensitivity 40'
        Speaker: Henrik Bjørn NIELSEN (Clinical-Microbiomics A/S)
        Material: Video
      • 11:40 What Can Statistical Physics Teach Us about Community Ecology? 40'
        Speaker: Pankaj MEHTA (Boston University)
        Material: Video
      • 12:20 Group Photo 10' ( Leonardo Building LOBBY )
  • Thursday, 6 July 2017
    • 09:00 - 17:20 Thursday 6 July
      Location: Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall
      • 09:00 Assembly and Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics of Communities of Antibiotic Producing Bacteria 40'
        Speaker: Kalin VETSIGIAN (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
        Material: Video
      • 09:40 Assembly of Complex Communities in Simple Environments 40'
        Speaker: Alvaro SANCHEZ (Yale University)
        Material: Video
      • 10:20 Coffee break 40' ( Leonardo Building - Terrace )
      • 11:00 Cooperation and Conflict in Bacteria: Fitness Costs, Cross-feeding, and the Tragedy of the Commons 40'
        Speaker: Martin SCHUSTER (Oregon State University)
        Material: Video
      • 11:40 Inter-Species and Xenobiotic Interaction Landscape of the Human Gut Microbiome 40'
        Speaker: PATIL Kiran Raosaheb (EMBL, Heidelberg)
        Material: Video
      • 12:20 Lunch break 1h40' ( Leonardo Building - Cafeteria )
      • 14:00 Glimpses of Gut Microbes in their Physical World 40'
        Speaker: Raghuveer PARTHASARATHY (University of Oregon)
        Material: Video
      • 14:40 Kin Discrimination shapes Multicellular Behaviors and Territoriality of Bacillus subtilis 40'
        Speaker: Ines MANDIC MULEC (Ljubljana University)
        Material: Video
      • 15:20 Coffee break 40' ( Leonardo Building - Terrace )
      • 16:00 Multi-Omics Approach for Dissecting the Contribution of the Gut Microbiome to Human Metabolic Diseases 40'
        Speaker: Liping ZHAO (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
        Material: Video
      • 16:40 Understanding Microbial Communities from Top-Down and Bottom-Up 40'
        Speaker: Orkun SOYER (University of Warwick)
        Material: Video
  • Friday, 7 July 2017
    • 09:00 - 12:40 Friday 7 July
      Location: Leonardo Building - Budinich Lecture Hall
      • 09:00 The Role of Spatial Structure in Microbial Interactions 40'
        Speaker: Kirill KOROLEV (Boston University)
        Material: Video
      • 09:40 Effects of the Toxic Metabolite Formaldehyde upon Single Species and Communities 40'
        Speaker: MARX Christopher (University of Idaho)
        Material: Video
      • 10:20 Coffee break 40' ( Leonardo Building - Terrace )
      • 11:00 Bacterial Fortresses: Cooperation and Competition for Space in Biofilms 40'
        Speaker: Carey NADELL (Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology)
        Material: Video
      • 11:40 The Population and Evolutionary Dynamics of Bacteriophage: the Virtues of Temperance 40'
        Speaker: Bruce LEVIN (Emory University)
        Material: Video
      • 12:20 Closing remarks 20'