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Alumnus returns to give guest lecture on Nov. 9
Thursday, November 01, 2007

SUNY Fredonia computer science and physics alumnus Gentian Buzi, now a Ph.D. student at Caltech (California Institute of Technology), will deliver a talk Friday, Nov. 9, at 4 p.m. in Fenton Hall Room 105 about the set of chemical reactions that occur in cells.

The title of his talk is, "Structure and Stability in Autocatalytic Metabolic Pathways: A Control and Dynamical Systems Approach." There will be a brief tutorial introduction on control theory and the relevant biological concepts at the beginning of the talk. Mr. Buzi will present some initial investigations into how the structure of metabolic pathways and product inhibition affect their stability and performance properties.
The lecture is free and the public is invited to attend.

Mr. Buzi, who came to SUNY Fredonia as an international student from Albania, graduated summa cum laude in 2000. He earned a master's degree in electrical engineering at Caltech and later worked as an assistant scientist in Bioinformatics in the biology department at Caltech.

He is currently studying and conducting research in the Control and Dynamical Systems program at Caltech, and working under the direction of Professor John Doyle.

"Metabolism (the set of chemical reactions that occur in the cell) is one of the most studied networks in the cell," Mr. Buzi said in his summary. "The structure and nature of the chemical reactions that compile the different metabolic pathways is generally very well understood. There are interesting behaviors, such as oscillations, that emerge from these pathways. This talk will focus on the role of autocatalytic loops in creating destabilizing positive feedbacks. In general, autocatalytic feedback can create ‘open-loop’ instabilities, but the structure of metabolism appears to limit this somewhat. Control theory tools provide hard bounds on achievable performance and the trade-offs involved.”

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