M. Carmen ROMANO

Institute for Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology & Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom


I am interested in how to mathematically analyse fundamental processes in cell biology applying concepts of dynamical systems and statistical physics. In particular, I am currently interested in the process of translation, stress responses and their relationship to the cell cycle and the process of ribosome biogenesis.

Dynamics of translation: modelling the synthesis of proteins

We focus on the process of translation, i.e., how "molecular machines" called ribosomes translate the messenger RNA molecules into proteins that can be utilised by the cell for a huge variety of different processes. In order to model the process of translation, we propose a simple stochastic model based on the totally asymmetric exclusion process. We study the role that different distributions of nucleotides, i.e., different mRNA sequences, play in the maximal flow or production rate of proteins that can be achieved. We then relate the rich dynamical behaviour generated by the model to the different biological functions of the analysed proteins.