Robustness is phenomena that is ubiquitous and observed in various layers, from gene regulation to ecosystem. We believe it is one of the fundamental properties of biological systems where a basic principle of biological systems is embedded. This is because robustness and evolvability may be tightly coupled: mechanisms for enhancing robustness against environment perturbations also enhance evolvability, and more robust individuals tend to be selected through evolution. Thus, evolvable robust system has characteristic architectural features and common underlying mechanisms. At the same time, it inherently entails trade-offs among robustness, fragility, resource demands, and performance. Diseases such as cancer, diabetes mellitus, AIDS, and immunological disorders are manifestations of such trade-offs. Therefore, understanding biological robustness is expected to generate novel interpretation of diseases and therapeutic approaches accordingly. At SBI, we are working on both theoretical and experimental aspects of robustness in biological systems.
The Theory of Biological Robustness
Robustness of Cellular Systems
Robustness Trade-offs and Medicine