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Loewe Lab

We are building a bridge between reliable models in evolutionary genetics and molecular systems biology. To facilitate the many necessary computer simulations, we are working on a new programming language that makes it easier for us biologists to tell computers what to compute next.












The Loewe Lab is an Evolutionary Systems Biology Group in the Laboratory of Genetics and the trans-disciplinary Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at UW-Madison.


Vision: EvoSysBio is about building bridges between systems biology and evolutionary genetics to help investigate many problems we face today. Ranging from antibiotics resistance to species extinction, these problems share the need for sophisticated computer models that integrate state-of-the-art biological data and expertise with the best available math, stats, and simulation methods to deliver accurate results.


Problem: There is a language mismatch that kills many promising modeling ideas before they ever get born. Many with the biological expertise needed to model have difficulties expressing their ideas in a language that computers and people who know most about simulation algorithms can easily understand. In the other direction, experts for simulation methods can not usually be expected to know biological systems as well as those biologists who spend their career investigating them.


Solution Strategy: We are working to resolve this tragic language mismatch by developing a new programming language called Evolvix. To summarize:


Evolvix exists to make accurate modeling easy.

Our work in designing Evolvix aims to enable computers to compile results relevant to understanding complex biology. We integrate some of the best math methods with distributed computing to address new biological questions in molecular systems biology and population genetics.

We work to simplify Evolvix to ease the path to computing for many, and use it in our research to produce high-quality results. We build on the expanded thinking capabilities of Evolvix to address diverse biological questions.


If a modeling framework is like a car, and models are like maps to reality, then we want Evolvix to allow us to use the same car with different maps to enable the exploration of different areas by "using the same car". Biologists should not have to develop new modeling frameworks for each question they aim to explore. Enabling this in Evolvix requires organizing a vast conceptual landscape with myriads of details. As a result, our research touches many diverse areas in biology, computer science, maths, stats, chemistry, physics, and engineering.


We currently use this approach to develop the best model of a circadian clock of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster that we can build.


(Also: We are in the process of moving to our new web pages. Thank you for your patience.)