Monjur Morshed, Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo
Sensitivity analysis for stochastic models of biochemical reaction networks
Biochemical reaction networks have important practical applications, in particular to understanding critical intracellular processes. Often biochemical kinetic models represent cellular processes as systems of chemical reactions, traditionally modeled by deterministic reaction rate equations. In the cellular environment, many biological processes are inherently stochastic. The stochastic fluctuations due to the presence of some low molecular populations may have a great impact on the biochemical system behavior. In these cases, stochastic models are required for an accurate description of the system dynamics. An important stochastic model of well-stirred biochemical systems is the Chemical Master Equation. We are interested in analyzing strategies for accurate and effective sensitivity analysis of stochastic discrete biochemical systems modeled with the Chemical Master Equation. This sensitivity analysis plays a central role in the construction, characterization, and validation of models of these systems. In particular, it enables the identification of the key reaction rate parameters and it gives insight on how to effectively reduce the system while maintaining its overall behavior.