Anne-Ruxandra Carvunis, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor
  • Computational and Systems Biology

Education & Training

  • Magistere (BSc and Masters equivalent), Biology/Biochemistry, Ecole Normale Superieure / University Paris 6, 2004
  • Masters, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Life Sciences, University Paris 7, 2005
  • Ph.D. Bioinformatics, University of Grenoble, 2011

Research Interest Summary

We study the mechanisms of change and innovation in the evolution of biological systems using computational and experimental approaches.

Research Categories

Research Interests

Systems biology is the study of biological networks. The information contained in the genome of every living cell encodes a specific set of biomolecules (eg. transcripts, proteins). These biomolecules interact with each other, with the genome and with the environment, forming intricate and dynamic networks that underlie all cellular processes. Biological networks define how organisms look and behave, whether they will die or thrive in different environments. Ultimately, biological networks influence the probability that genomic information will be propagated to the next generation. Thus studying networks will transform how we think about evolution.

Evolution is the process through which populations and species change over successive generations. We know a lot about how natural selection and random drift together govern the inheritance of genetic material. However, the mechanisms underpinning evolutionary innovation remain obscure. How do new genes appear? How do organisms adapt to changing environments? If biological networks performed their functions in the manner of predictable machines, they could not evolve. There must be organizational principles that make biological networks plastic and robust for evolutionary innovation to take place. We seek to discover what these principles are. Through this quest we hope to expand knowledge of how cells work and of how evolution works.

Representative Publications