From Symplectic Biology to Synthetic Biology: Universals in Bacterial Genomes报告人：法国巴黎巴斯德研究所 Professor Antoine DANCHIN, PhD
报告题目：From Genomes to Synthetic Biology
报告人：法国巴黎巴斯德研究所 Professor Antoine DANCHIN, PhD
Trained as a mathematician and a physicist Antoine DANCHIN became an experimental microbiologist in the early seventies. The main goal of his research has always been to try and understand how genes can function collectively in the cell. To this aim, Antoine DANCHIN started in 1985 a collaboration with computer scientists for evaluation of artificial intelligence techniques to the study of integrated problems in molecular genetics. This convinced him that it was time to investigate genomes as wholes, provided that an important effort in computer sciences was initiated in parallel. Early in 1987 he proposed that a sequencing program should be undertaken for Bacillus subtilis. This proposal was actualized by an European joint effort on this genome, starting in 1988. The complete sequence has been published in 1997. The first significant and unexpected discovery of this work was, in 1991, that many genes (at that time half of the genes) were of completely unknown function. As a further outcome of this work, it has been discovered that genomes are structures that are much more orderedly than previously suspected, and that there probably exists a strong interaction between the organisation of the genes in the genome and the cell's architecture. Antoine DANCHIN has published more than 450 articles and four books, including a book on the origin of life, and a book on genomes (The Delphic Boat, Harvard University Press, 2003). He has a continuous interest in philosophy, and in exchanges with other civilisations (formation of a Chinese-European University Without Walls in 1990), and has published many articles on subjects in epistemology and ethics. This was at the root of his interest to promote genome research in Hong Kong, where he has created the HKU-Pasteur Research Centre (HKUPRC) in 2000. He stayed in Hong Kong for three years and set up there a working seminar with the Department of Mathematics of Hong Kong University to discuss epistemological and ethical problems raised by the recent status of Biology in human knowledge. He is at present the director of the Department Genomes and Genetics at the Institut Pasteur.