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By members of the Executive Committee of the Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Networks Consortium
Editor's Note: In February, The Scientist's Richard Gallagher editorialized that we would soon be publishing "the manifesto of [a] bottom-up, big science group:" (1)
"It will be organized around the traditional approach of small, independent research teams chipping away at pet problems. Science will remain a personal pursuit, with scientists maintaining control of their own research. But the team's efforts will be integrated and designed as a virtuous circle of modeling of the system driving experiments that will in turn tune the model, generating more experiments."
The purpose, he wrote, would "be important contributions to a broader agenda, bringing a fuller understanding to a complex and vital area of biology. At least as important will be what I anticipate is the proof of principle of this important strategy." We are pleased to present the white paper of that group, the International Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Networks Consortium.
Biology is undergoing a fundamental shift from a descriptive to a quantitative, and ultimately, predictive science. This transition is being driven by the development of computer-based models of complex biological processes that can both capture and recapitulate the central metabolic and information-processing networks of cells.
Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are central components of cell signaling networks and play crucial roles in normal physiological processes, such as embryogenesis, cell proliferation, and cell death (apoptosis). RTK networks function to detect, amplify, filter, and process a variety of environmental and …