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Parametric sensitivity of biochemical networks

Research Achievements

Parametric sensitivity of biochemical networks

IGERT Trainee Patrick Sheppard and co-advisor Mustafa Khammash, UCSB Dept. of Mechanical Engineering along with Professor Muruhan Rathinam, UMBC Dept. of Mathematics developed an efficient method for computation of parameter sensitivities of discrete stochastic chemical reaction networks. Parametric sensitivity of biochemical networks is an indispensable tool for studying system robustness properties, estimating network parameters, and identifying targets for drug therapy. For discrete stochastic representations of biochemical networks, sensitivity analysis can be particularly challenging, as accurate finite difference computation of sensitivity requires a large number of simulations for both nominal and perturbed values of the parameters. In this work, which was published in the Journal of Chemical Physics, Sheppard et al. introduced a new computational method, provided a theoretical basis and demonstrated speed-ups of several orders of magnitude over previous methods.