Our organs and tissues are made of different cell types that communicate with each other in order to achieve joint functions. However, little is known about the universal principles of these interactions. For example, how do cell interactions maintain proper cellular composition, spatial organization and collective division of labor in tissues?
And what is the role of these interactions in tissue-level diseases where the healthy balance in the tissue is disrupted such as excess scarring following injury known as fibrosis?
In this talk, I will discuss my work in developing theoretical frameworks that explore the collective behavior of cells that emerges from cell-cell communication circuits.
I will present work on the cell circuit that controls tissue repair following injury and how it may lead to fibrosis.
I will discuss a new approach to explore how cell interactions can be used to provide symmetry breaking and optimal division of labor in tissues, and how this approach can help to interpret complex patterns in real data.
I will introduce a new concept in complex networks – network hyper-motifs, where we explore how small recurring patterns (network motifs) are integrated within large networks, and how these larger patterns (hyper-motifs) can give rise to emergent dynamic properties.
Finally, I will conclude with future directions that are aimed at revealing principles that unify our understanding of different tissues.