Biology & Complex Systems Research

Many of the projects at Herscu Laboratory directly tie in to an underlying research goal of elucidating and describing useful models in understanding the behavior of complex biological systems, particularly with regard to the three-way interaction between health, disease, and the evolution of organisms. To this end, many research projects either directly or indirectly approach questions on defining health, identifying the emergent properties of complex systems, redefining phenotype-based intraspecies subpopulations, modelling species and individual-level inherited and non-inherited disease susceptibility, understanding inter-generational modes of inheritance, and modelling patterns of behavior within individuals, amongst populations, and between species.

Predisposition and behavior-based subpopulations

Herscu Laboratory is researching non-traditional (i.e. extra-species) models for describing homologous subpopulations between different species. The focus is on redefinition of relevant sub-grouping through the characterization of predisposition to disease and response to various stresses that are shared not just among subpopulations of individuals within a species, but also among individuals between different species. Also of interest is the changeability of these predispositions and behaviors over time within an individual, or within a larger group.

Non-genetically linked inheritance of disease and characteristics

An important area of biological research within Herscu Laboratory is the understanding of inter-generational inheritance of behavioral characteristics and the predisposition and development of diseases that are currently inexplicable via direct genetic inheritance models.

Emergent properties and systems models in disease manifestation

Herscu Laboratory has developed tools and models to redefine disease categorization based on emergent characteristics in symptomatology and other manifestations of pathology. This research integrates an effort to re-focus disease recognition to a whole-body, systems level understanding with a push to expand disease definition into the under-appreciated dimension of time, resulting in a broader, and yet also more individual-specific, diagnostic model.

Epidemic disease susceptibility, severity, and evolution

Herscu Laboratory is researching models of understanding around flexible characterization of constantly changing epidemic disease, and the complex relationship between epidemic disease severity and individual- and species-specific susceptibility. Research in this area also touches on issues of immunity, vaccination, and the co-evolution between disease entities and populations.


See all biology related publications here