Irene Zorzan‘s research centres on concepts of multi-agent systems, consensus under switching topology and compartmental systems. Her particular focus is on the broad class of positive systems (which includes compartmental systems, positive switched systems, compartmental switched systems), a class of systems characterized by the fact that state variables represent intrinsically nonnegative entities, and hence assume only nonnegative values. Positive Systems Theory has Biology as one of its main application fields, being the concentration levels of biological species intrinsically nonnegative.
The IAS Fellowship project that will be developed by Dr Zorzan under the direction and supervision of Dr Matteo Barberis (Systems Biology, FHMS) aims at the understanding of how the cell cycle network can be modulated, through identification of molecular designs that are responsible for its precise timing. Specifically, molecular designs will be investigated for the occurrence of a definite pattern of enzymatic activities, which regulate cell cycle progression unidirectionally. Furthermore, effects of cell-to-cell interactions will be tested for homogeneous and heterogeneous populations. Since these enzymes continuously shuttle between nucleus and cytoplasm, diffusion will also be analysed, for the occurrence of definite spatial patterns.