Complex Network Analysis is making its impact on the field of genetics. More and more geneticists realize that complex traits (such as disease susceptibility and resistance) can not simply be understood by studying individual genes without explicitly taking into account the Gene Networks these genes are part of, i.e. a network oriented genetics is needed. Evidently, Complex Network Analysis will be necessary to get insight into the structure and function of the Gene Networks that relate genotypes to phenotypes.
The ‘network genetics’ approach starts with the formulation of Gene Network models. In our lab we have derived a Gene Network for the organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast) by integrative analysis of gene expression and genotype data and are currently exploring its structure using tools from Complex Network Analysis. In addition we perform dynamical simulations to get insight into how structure determines biological function.