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Call for Abstracts

to be presented as talk or as poster
at the Symposium on
Evolutionary Systems Biology of Networks
on a day to be specified
during the SMBE Conference 8th-12th June 2014
in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Update 15 Jun 2014
(Latest updates on this page)

Evolutionary systems biology aims to build a bridge between evolutionary biology and systems biology. The analysis of networks of various kinds is of particular importance in this context and the focus of this symposium. More details below.

The annual meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution usually attracts well over 1000 participants. It offers many different symposia in different tracks, some of which cover other aspects of EvoSysBio (see SMBE 2014 website)

This symposium provides an exciting opportunity for presenting the latest results in EvoSysBio and for interacting with some of the leading researchers in the field.

Key dates

  • 27 Jan 2014: SMBE abstract submission deadline (submit)
  • 21 Mar 2014: Reduced registration rates end (register)
    Cancellation refund deadline not known.
  • 8-12 Jun 2014: SMBE, Symposium was on June 11.

Invited talk

  • Prof. Patricia Wittkopp
    University of Michigan, USA (webpage)
    The impact of transcription on the
    genotype-phenotype map (tentative)

    Abstract to follow.

Closely related symposia at SMBE 2014

  • Biochemistry meets molecular evolution
  • Evolutionary Networks

Financial support for students and postdocs

Limited financial support from SMBE is available for students and postdocs to travel to this symposium. To apply for such support:

  1. Submit your abstract through the SMBE meeting Abstract Submission Website, choosing the symposium "Evolutionary Systems Biology of Networks".
  2. Email both symposium organizers ( and a copy of your abstract, a CV, and an explanation of why your are seeking travel support.
  3. Please complete your application by the SMBE abstract deadline.

Decisions regarding support were made by the end of February.


Detailed description of symposium

Evolution depends on molecular structures and functions, which were largely unknown when the basis for a mechanistic understanding of evolution was laid. Thus population genetics uses descriptive parameters like selection coefficients, ‘hiding’ unknown molecular functions. As resulting models are conditional on assumed values, much effort goes into estimating selection by empirical observation or inference from DNA sequences using specific evolutionary models. Results do not integrate easily the many mechanistic details known in molecular systems biology.   

Evolutionary systems biology aims to build a bridge between evolutionary biology and systems biology. Integrating rigorous models from both fields will improve our mechanistic understanding of evolution. Key aspects of fitness are affected by molecular interaction networks, which are modified by mutations that improve or degrade molecular functions. Understanding aspects of molecular networks important for fitness will boost a mechanistical understanding of mutational effects.

A sizeable fraction of talks at current conferences on evolution or systems biology contribute to building a bridge between evolution and systems biology. We aim to highlight contributions focussing on the fitness impact of biochemical interaction networks, complementing the sister symposium by Monti-Masel & Wilke on molecular structures and functions, which are the building blocks of networks.

Symposium organizers

Dr. Laurence Loewe
Evolutionary Systems Biology Group
Laboratory of Genetics and
Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
University of Wisconsin-Madison
330 North Orchard Street, Madison, WI, 53715
Tel: +1 (608) 316 4324

Dr. Ryan Gutenkunst
Molecular and Cellular Biology
1007 E Lowell St, LSS 527A
PO Box 210106
Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Tel: +1 (520) 626-0569