[Seminar] "Bacteria, stem cells and fruit flies: a physicist in biology" by Prof. Chao Tang
It is an exciting time for physicists to contemplate life. As the most fascinating, the most complex, and (arguably) the most fundamental phenomena in nature, living systems provide endless sources for imaginations, theories, applications and future possibilities. I will share with you my own excitement by telling you three stories of my research. The first is a classic problem of bacteria growth: sequential versus co- utilization of nutrients. The second is a theory of today’s “hot” biotechnology: stem cell reprograming. The third is about how artificial intelligence might be able to help us to understand life.
Chao Tang is a Chair Professor of Physics and Systems Biology and the Executive Dean of the Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies at Peking University. He had his undergraduate training at the University of Science and Technology of China and received a Ph.D. degree in Physics from the University of Chicago. In his early career, he worked on problems in statistical physics, condensed matter physics, dynamical and complex systems. His current research interest is at the interface between physics and biology, in particular in quantitative systems biology and biological physics. He was a tenured full professor at the University of California San Francisco before returning to China full-time in 2011. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the founding director of the interdisciplinary Center for Quantitative Biology at Peking University and the founding Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Quantitative Biology.