© 2015

Dynamics of Cell Fate Decision Mediated by the Interplay of Autophagy and Apoptosis in Cancer Cells

Mathematical Modeling and Experimental Observations


Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

About this book


This interdisciplinary thesis introduces a systems biology approach to study the cell fate decision mediated by autophagy. A mathematical model of interaction between Autophagy and Apoptosis in mammalian cells is proposed. In this dynamic model autophagy acts as a gradual response to stress (Rheostat) that delays the initiation of bistable switch of apoptosis to give the cells an opportunity to survive. The author shows that his dynamical model is consistent with existing quantitative measurements of time courses of autophagic responses to cisplatin treatment. To understand the function of this response in cancer cells, he has provided a systems biology experimental framework to study quantitative and dynamical aspects of autophagy in single cancer cells using live-cell imaging and quantitative fluorescence microscopy. This framework can provide new insights on function of autophagic response in cancer cells.


Apoptosis Autophagy Cell Death Live Cell Imaging Quantitative Fluorescence Microscopy Systems Biology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Program of Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (GBCB)Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

About the authors

Iman Tavassoly (MD, PhD) is a physician-scientist working at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Systems Biology Center New York. His research interests include systems biology of complex diseases and cancer biology. He graduated from medical school in 2007 and received his PhD in Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at Virginia Tech where he was awarded as the outstanding interdisciplinary program doctoral student. 

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