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Research Highlights

February 2005

PNNL to play key role in RTK Consortium

PNNL scientists Steven Wiley and Haluk Resat took part in the first meeting of the International Consortium on Systems Biology of Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Regulatory Networks (RTK Consortium) January 17-19, 2005, in Yokohama, Japan at the RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center. Wiley, who is director of PNNL's Biomolecular Systems LDRD Initiative, was asked to serve on the board of the new Consortium, and PNNL will develop the internal and external websites for the Consortium.

Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling has long been implicated as a key regulatory machinery of growth, proliferation, and differentiation. The Consortium will be organized from a systems biology perspective by using high-throughput methods to study the overall process and will combine groups worldwide that work on RTK biological networks either experimentally or computationally. Systems biology is the study of living organisms in terms of their underlying network structure rather than simply their individual molecular components.

The Consortium will serve as a juncture between industry and academia for the study of RTK regulatory networks. The objective of the consortium is to facilitate research to obtain as complete as possible an understanding of RTK biological networks and to

  • Build a high-resolution, quantitative understanding of the RTK systems through quantitative study of RTK processes as whole integrated systems and the identification of key components and regulations, design and extension of assays de novo, and formulate a series of mathematical models of RTK regulatory networks.
  • Generate and test hypotheses important for the identification of therapeutic targets and translational research.

The consortium chair is Boris Kholodenko, Thomas Jefferson University, USA. Other board members are Hiroaki Kitano, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Japan; Mariko Hatakeyama, RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center, Japan; Pierre De Meyts. Hagedorn Research Institute, Denmark; Yoshiyuki Sakaki, RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center, Japan; Steven Wiley, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA; and Yosef Yarden, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.

Wiley's research interests have focused on understanding mechanisms of cell communication and signaling using the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) system as a model. He pioneered methods for the quantitative analysis of receptor dynamics in mammalian cells and published some of the first computer models of receptor regulation. He has been a major contributor to the field of receptor research, particularly with regard to the control of receptor distribution within cells.

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