Professor B. Mishra

Office Hours: Mon 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM [or by appt.]
Office Phone: 212.998.3464
Email Address:

Day and Time:
Monday, 5:00 PM - 6:50 PM EST, Room 1221, 719 Broadway.

Credits for Course:

Syllabus for Course: Syllabus: Biology X
TBD (In collaboration with the students)

[ Lecture 1 || [ Lecture 2 || [ Lecture 3 || Lecture 4 || Lecture 4(b) || Lecture 5 || Lecture 6 || Lecture 7 || Lecture 8 || Lecture 9 || Lecture 10 || Lecture 11 || Lecture 12 ]
Course Prerequisites: Basic Algorithms and High-Level Languages.
We are expecting students with diverse backgrounds (CS, Math, Biology, Biomedicine, Engineering, etc.), and hence will try to make the course as self-contained as possible...

Signaling is a well-studied phenomenon both in evolutionary game theory and in cell biology. In game theory, signaling frameworks have been used to study the evolution of such fundamental phenomena as conventions and cooperation, while in biology, signal transduction has been extensively studied as a basic ingredient to multicellularity, enabling cells to communicate and coordinate. However, approaches that span both fields are scarce.

In this course, we explore the idea of viewing multicellular organisms as signaling systems in the game-theoretic sense, attempting to unify these two perspectives on signaling. A multicellular organism corresponds to a population of cells in a cooperative state, with a working signaling system in place. We will discuss how the evolution of such a system may be modeled. Then, we will in particular be interested in the breakdown of cooperation, leading to an interpretation of cancer as a disease of multicellularity.

The course will be as self-contained as possible and include introductions to evolutionary game theory and signaling systems, signal transduction in cell biology, and the biology of cancer.

Text Books
Required Textbooks:
(1) Signals: Evolution, Learning, and Information, Brian Skyrms, Oxford University Press, 2010

(2) Biology of Cancer, Robert A. Weinberg, Garland Science, 2006

Recommended textbooks:

(a) Game Theory Evolving, Herbert Gintis, Princeton University Press, 2000

(b) Computational Biology of Cancer, Dominik Wodarz and Natalia L. Komarova, World Scientific Publishing Company, 2005

(c) Information Theory, Inference & Learning Algorithms, David J. C. MacKay, Cambridge University Press, 2002 Available HERE

Midterm Date:
No Midterm.
Final Date:
Class Project.
Class Presentation.

Bud Mishra
January 1 2010