Graduate Research Talk: Finding Dominant Biochemical Pathways based on Gibbs Free Energy

April 16, 2009
Halligan 106
Speaker: Ehsan Ullah, Tufts University


Better understanding of the behavior of biochemical systems is important for health care and industrial applications. Structural and functional analysis of these biochemical networks facilitates the design and optimization of industrially relevant microorganisms. An important part of these analyses is the selection of chemical reactions responsible for a particular function performed by a microorganism. The feasibility of chemical reactions is determined by thermodynamics of the reactions. This talk will focus on a new technique for analysis of biochemical networks based on free energy change of a chemical reaction. The biochemical networks are represented by weighted directed graphs and networks are explored for thermodynamically favored reactions. The results for different biochemical networks are compared with elementary flux mode analysis that identifies all possible paths. This technique has a major advantage of reduced runtime and number of reported modes.