Physics of Living Systems II -s3

Physics of Living Systems II

Contact: ROUAULT Herve

Course proposal Physics of living matter (now: Matthias Merkel, Hervé Rouault, J-F. Rupprecht)

Whether it is the development of an organism from egg cell to adult, tumor growth and
metastasis, wound healing, or the functioning of a complex nervous system, many biological
processes rely on the self-organized, coordinated action of a large number of cells. This
course is designed to provide a general background in biology and demonstrate how
concepts from theoretical physics can help understand how multicellular systems robustly
organize to fulfill their respective function.

I) Development and patterning
● Fundamentals of multicellular development
● Classical patterning theories
● Cell polarity

II) Understanding living systems as active soft matter
● Non-equilibrium physics applied to living systems
● Biological tissues as soft active matter

III​) Inference and neural networks
● Single neuron physiology: the Hodgkin-Huxley model
● Neuron networks: notions of discrete and continuous attractors.
● Noisy neuronal dynamics: the Fokker-Planck approach
● Learning dynamics: the perceptron model, recurrent neural networks.