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Metabolic Complexity. Is there Music Behind it?

October 04, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Metabolic Complexity. Is there Music Behind it?

Professor Doraiswami (Ramki) Ramkrishna
Davidson School of Chemical Engineering
Purdue University
Thursday October 4, 2018
Noon in 1003 Kemper Hall


The complexity of metabolic networks would appear to fit in more appropriately with a cacophonic scenario than
anything remotely musical. However, this talk will attempt to show that a mathematical view can be had of this
complex process in which the phenomenon of metabolic regulation can be likened to the conductor of a
symphonic orchestra summoning combinations of instruments representing metabolic reactions towards
superlative music. It will be the objective of this seminar to let this analogy lead the discussion of a cybernetic
theory of cellular metabolism that interprets the diversity of gene expression as a targeted effort to maximize the
organism’s survival. The applicability of the model to bioprocess engineering is demonstrated.

Bio: Doraiswami Ramkrishna, popularly known as Ramki, obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical
Engineering in 1960 from the Bombay University Department of Chemical Technology, now known as ICT. He
received his PhD in 1965 from the University of Minnesota, and after serving for two years on the faculty at
Minnesota, returned to India to join the IIT Kanpur as an Assistant Professor. In 1974, he went back to the United
States as a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin and as a Visiting Professor the following
year at the University of Minnesota before joining the Purdue University faculty in 1976 as a full Professor. In
1994, he was appointed H.C. Peffer Distinguished Professor. Professor Ramkrishna is noted for his research on
the application of mathematics to chemical and biochemical reaction engineering, biotechnology, particulate
systems, and more recently personalized medicine. He is well known for the book Linear Operator Methods in
Chemical Engineering (Prentice-Hall, 1985) coauthored with Neal Amundson, and his book Population Balances.
Theory and Application to Particulate Systems in Engineering (Academic Press, 2000).

He is a recipient of several AIChE Awards, the Alpha Chi Sigma (1987), the Richard Wilhelm Award (1998), the
Thomas Baron Award (2004). He is a Fellow of professional societies, American Institute of Medical and
Biological Engineering (1996), and of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (2008). From Germany, he
won the Senior Humboldt Award (2001) to visit the Max Planck Institute in Magdeburg. He received an Honorary
Doctor of Science (2004) from the University of Minnesota. Bombay University honored him with the UDCT
Diamond Award (1994), the Platinum Award (2009) and Ruia College with the Jewel of Ruia Award. Professor
Ramkrishna has held several Distinguished Professorships and delivered numerous Distinguished Lectures. In
(2009) he was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering, and as a foreign member to the Indian National
Academy of Engineering in 2011.


1003 Kemper Hall

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