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Summer school “Economic Principles in Cell Biology” - Paris, July 8-11, 2024

Main  |  Schedule and teachers  |  Practical information

Topic of the course

The summer school is centered around the topics of our free and open textbook “Economic principles in cell biology” on cellular physiology and resource allocation and will features some of its (existing or planned) chapters in the form of lectures. The course addresses students and young researchers with a natural science, engineering, or mathematics background. The lectures give an introduction to basic metabolic and cell modeling, followed by lectures about more specific topics such as scaling relations and biological behaviour in the presence of randomness. In-person participants will also be involved in discussions around our book project. On the last day, in-person participants have the opportunity to participate in an Atelier SEnS workshop about personal values and how they relate to our work as researchers.

Course schedule





(10 am)
The economy of the cell
Meike Wortel

(10 am)
Self-replicator cell models
Hollie J. Hindley

(10 am)
Organ scaling and function
Frédérique Noël

Atelier SEnS
All day (9am - 5pm)


(11 am)
What makes up a cell?
Diana Széliová / Pranas Grigaitis

(11 am)
Growth balance analysis
Hugo Dourado

(11 am)
Metabolic diversity
Roberto Mulet

Lunch break and get-together

Lunch break

Lunch break

(1 pm)
Optimality in biology
Markus Köbis

(1 pm)
Book exercise session
Group work


(1 pm)
Book - plans for the future
Plenary discussion

(2 pm)
A dynamic view of metabolism --
Orkun Soyer

(2 pm)
Economy of size:
prokaryotes and eukaryotes

Sergio Munoz-Gomez

(2 pm)
The origin of life
Sanjay Jain

Coffee break (3 pm)

Coffee break (3 pm)

Coffee break (3 pm)

(3:30 pm)
Flux balance analysis
Steffen Waldherr

(3:30 pm)
Cell behaviour under uncertainty
David Lacoste / Olivier Rivoire

(3:30 pm)
Return on investment
H.-S. Song / D. Ramkrishna

A guided tour of the LPI (4:30 pm)
Virginie Chomier

(4:30 pm)
Night Science Martin Lercher

(4:30 pm) Course feedback
Get-together (7:30 pm)

 Hybrid lecture   Remote lecture - Hours are Paris time (CEST)

Teachers and authors present in Paris

  1. Anne Goelzer, INRAE
  2. David Lacoste, ESPCI Paris
  3. Diana Széliová, Universität Wien
  4. Frédérique Noël, Sorbonne Université
  5. Hidde de Jong, INRIA
  6. Hugo Dourado, Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf
  7. Hollie J. Hindley, University of Edinburg
  8. Markus Köbis, NTNU Trondheim
  9. Meike Wortel, Universiteit van Amsterdam
  10. Natalia Kotelnikova-Weiler
  11. Olivier Rivoire, ESPCI Paris
  12. Pranas Grigaitis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  13. Roberto Mulet, University of Havana
  14. Sophie Quinton, INRIA
  15. Steffen Waldherr, Universität Wien
  16. Wolfram Liebermeister, INRAE

Teachers giving lectures online

  1. Doraiswami Ramkrishna, Purdue University
  2. Hyun-Seob Song, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
  3. Martin Lercher, HHU Düsseldorf
  4. Sanjay Jain, University of Delhi
  5. Sergio Munoz-Gomez, Purdue University
  6. Orkun Soyer, Warwick University

Night Science

On Tuesday we will host a Night Science session, a course on the creative scientific process, developed by Itai Yanai and Martin Lercher.

Podcast: (with links to spotify etc.)

Atelier SEnS

The Atelier SEnS workshop for young scientists or engineers (called Atelier SEnS: science, environment, societies) will be held by Sophie Quinton and Natalia Kotelnikova-Weiler. The workshop provides an opportunity, especially for PhD students, to think about defining decisions for their future life and career. More information can be found here.

The SEnS workshop has been designed to provide tools and resources for this purpose, to a group of 5 to 15 people working in academia. It aims to offer a venue to collectively discuss the consequences of our research, the values that it conveys, and more generally how scientific research fits in the Anthropocene; provide an introduction to science and technology studies, in particular to the philosophy, history, and sociology of science; and initiate a collective construction of a social and environmental responsibility of research. The objective is not to reach a consensus between the participants, but rather to provide everyone with the opportunity to reflect and take a stance on current environmental issues in a respectful and constructive setting. By confronting ideas and sharing knowledge, the goal is then to find common ground.

Participation is limited to in-person participants. There will be separate groups for English and French speakers.