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Abstracts can be found at

for the
Symposium on
Evolutionary Systems Biology of Cells
on the 3rd of July (2 sessions right at the start of the conference)
during the SMBE Conference 2nd-6th July 2017
in Austin, Texas

Evolutionary systems biology aims to build a bridge between evolutionary biology and systems biology. Many questions about molecular systems in cells and larger cellular structures interconnect both branches of biology. This symposium focuses on related methods, results, and perspectives. 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 2017 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

  • 2nd-6th July 2017: SMBE Conference, the EvoSysBio Symposium is on July 3rd, 2 sessions right at the start.
  • 15th Feb 2017: new extended SMBE abstract
    submission deadline.
    Submission has closed.
  • 1st March 2017: SMBE abstract notification
  • 29 Mar 2017: End of reduced registration rates.
    On-site registration was possible.
    Cancellation refund deadline was not known.

Invited Speakers

  • Prof. Michael Lynch
    Indiana University Bloomington, USA (webpage)
    Evolutionary Cell Biology
    Please note that this talk was promoted to a plenary keynote. Abstracts can be found at

  • Prof. Trey Ideker
    University of California San Diego, USA (webpage)
    Translation of Genotype to Phenotype by a Hierarchy of Cell Subsystems (tentative title)
    Abstracts can be found at


Detailed description of symposium

Cells are the basic units of life. Decades of research in molecular-, cell-, and systems-biology have accumulated impressive insights into the molecular mechanisms of life, but the biodiversity of cellular systems remain vastly under-explored despite its critical role in evolution. Building on successful models of well-known cells in controlled environments, this symposium aims to bring together cell biologists, systems biologists, evolutionary biologists, and others interested in advancing models of evolution at the cellular level. This focus on cellular systems celebrates the latest advances in the relentless Evolutionary Synthesis that started with Fisher 1918, and has been continuing whenever evolutionary biologists study complex biological systems to achieve an integrative understanding of evolution. Topics of interest include, but are not be limited to: 

  • Mechanistic simulations predicting distributions of mutational effects on cellular growth or survival
  • Mechanisms for establishing, maintaining, and modifying cellular pathways, gene-regulatory sub-networks and genetic subsystems
  • Mechanisms for evolving novel cell types
  • Methods that help study the above

We will discuss how to integrate recent advances in genome biology, computational molecular systems biology, cell biology and evolutionary biology.  

Conceptual connection to the
Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution

For several years there have been steady streams of talks about systems biology at evolution conferences and talks about evolution at systems biology conferences. Most attendees of SMBE might think of the “Molecular Biology” in the society name as indicating a particular interest in the molecules of inheritance (i.e. genomics) and the molecular biology tool-kits used for doing evolutionary genomics or phylogenomics. However, it could also be interpreted as the part of computational molecular systems biology that might be pivotal for helping us to construct mechanistic models of the fitness causality networks that govern the evolution of populations on fitness landscapes. For more details, see this conceptual overview of EvoSysBio with a definition of EvoSysBio and a series of milestones of progress in EvoSysBio.

Interest in a synthesis has been rising steadily and this symposium is part of a series of trans-disciplinary EvoSysBio meetings that have been addressing a range of topics relevant for building bridges between systems biology and evolution more efficiently.

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

Prof Anne-Ruxandra Carvunis
Department of Computational and Systems Biology at University of Pittsburgh
3501 Fifth Avenue, 3064 BST3
Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA
Link: website

10 Oct 2017
(Last update of this page)