Variability in Biology Advanced Course

Venue: Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown


Asma Motiwala, Nuno Calaim, Alex Gomez-Marin, Alfonso Renart (Champalimaud)


Alexandre Pouget (University of Geneva)

Alfonso Renart (CNP)

Asohan Amarasingham (City College of New York)

Bjoern Brembs (Universität Regensburg)

Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Philippe Cluzel (Harvard University)

Sarah Wooley (McGill University)

Tony Bell (University of California, Berkeley)

Zach Mainen (CNP)

Accounting for variability in data is a common challenge in working with a wide range of real world systems. This is especially true for biological systems that are typically complex, high-dimensional, structured and poorly understood. Biologists in general and neuroscientists in particular are very familiar with generally being able to explain only a small fraction of the variability in their data. How should one confront the observed variability? Is the ubiquitous variability found in biological systems a feature necessary for producing function or an inevitable side-effect which should be suppressed?

In this workshop we would like to create a forum for discussion about several topics related to variability in biological systems and in the brain. We feel that these issues are still open and general enough that approaches from any one field can potentially be valuable in others. We are, thus, encouraging a diversity of themes and perspectives rather than a focus on any of them in particular. The workshop is conceived as an opportunity for open discussion and cross-disciplinary interactions, both, amongst the invited faculty as well as with the CNP community. We expect that this will lead to novel insights on the way we think about variability in biological systems.

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