Focus Group 2014/2015
Gene Regulation and Organismal Diversity
This biology group will focus on how the great variety of life arose over the course of evolutionary history. Recent developments in different areas of modern biology suggest new approaches and ways of thinking about these traditional problems. We will bring together very different types of biologists with distinct expertise - people from different fields who do not usually spend extended time together comparing their different perspectives. Our group includes specialists who have combined the classical study of fossils with modern molecular biology, experts in the molecular biology of how an organism develops from a single cell into a complex adult, and theoreticians who specialize in connecting the general theory of natural selection to the complex molecular and genetic details emerging from modern biological studies. From this combination of fossils, molecules, and theory, we will evaluate the current state of the discipline and the most promising directions for new work. Although great progress has been made in recent years on specific topics, the vast amount of information and specialized study has left many key parts of the larger puzzle unconnected to each other. Particular topics range from the variety of ways that bacteria and yeast transform food into energy to the ways animals moved from water to land to reach new opportunities for diverse lifestyles. These different topics are united by the underlying genetic and biochemical mechanisms that control how organisms regulate their usage of energy and their development of form.
The members of the focus group are Steven A. Frank, Anton Crombach, Johannes Jäger, Thomas Pfeiffer, and Orkun Soyer.
Steven A. Frank