Mathematical Biology and Medicine

vaccines   coronavirus

Some recent papers of interest

Jobs News



Current and forthcoming programs, conferences and workshops

Recent seminars

  • Audrey Gerard (Oxford)
    CD8 T cell collective behaviour in health and disease
    Wed 11 Dec 2019
    CD8 T cell responses are key to eradicate virus, intracellular bacteria and cancer cells. A crucial feature of this response is to recruit T cells that will kill pathogen-infected cells or tumour cells while sparing healthy tissues. A multitude of CD8 T cell clones are recruited during an immune response, each with distinct T cell antigen receptors (TCR) with different affinity for their antigen. This clonal breadth is consistently observed despite factors favouring dominance of one or a few clones. How and why this diversity exists is unclear. Our central hypothesis is that T cells integrate individual responses into a collective response through direct communication to preserve T cell clonal breadth. We propose that T cells behave collectively in part through direct co-regulation through cytokines, allowing for lower-affinity clones to emerge and survive despite the competitive environment. I will discuss the consequences of direct T cell communication through the cytokine IFNγ on anti-bacterial responses, and how it impedes anti-tumour responses.
  • Oscar Rodriguez de Rivera Ortega (Kent)
    Spatial and spatio-temporal models to understand ecological processes
    Wed 23rd October 2019, 12:00-13:00
  • Systems Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics: How Mathematics, Statistics and Data Science Are Impacting Drug Discovery and Development
    Paolo Vicini (Kymab Ltd)
    18 October 2019 13.30
    Modern drug discovery and development are rapidly becoming more reliant on rigorously quantitative approaches. In addition to established statistical testing and experimental design techniques, new approaches include pharmacometrics and systems pharmacology. Pharmacometrics is a collection of quantitative tools applied to clinical drug development and trial design, including mixed effect models for drug exposure and response, and covariate selection methods to quantify the impact of demographic, disease status and genetic variation on drug dosing, concentration and effect. Systems pharmacology is an evolution of systems biology, which seeks to harness quantitative, time-dependent pathway models to predict and quantify the effects of pharmacological interventions on downstream biomarkers, ultimately aiding rationalize target and drug candidate selection. This presentation will describe modern drug discovery and development pipelines and the role of pharmacometrics and systems pharmacology, highlighting in particular their interdisciplinary nature and the extent to which they borrow from other discipline, including mathematics, statistics and computer science.
  • Damian Clancy (Heriot-Watt University, UK)
    Approximating persistence time for SIS infections in heterogeneous populations
    Wed 9th October 2019, 12:00-13:00
  • Prof. Uwe C Tauber (Department of Physics, Virginia Tech, USA)
    Stochastic Spatial Predator-Prey Models
    Wednesday 2nd October 2019, 12:00-13:00
  • A mathematical adventure in immunology Carmen Molina-París
    International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, Bangalore. 7 July 2019
  • Thursday 23rd May Dr Maria Nowicka (Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University, US)
    Differential impact of self and environmental antigens on the ontogeny and maintenance of CD4+ T cell memory
    Laboratory mice not exposed to overt infections nevertheless develop populations of circulating memory phenotype (MP) CD4+ T cells, presumably in response to environmental, commensal or self-antigens. The relative importance and timing of the forces that generate these populations remain unclear. We combine mathematical models with data from studies tracking the generation of CD4+ MP T cell subsets in mice of different ages, housed in facilities that differ in their `dirtiness'. We infer that both central and effector CD4+ MP T cell populations derive directly from naive CD4 T cells, and are heterogeneous in their rates of turnover. We also infer that early exposure to self and environmental antigens establishes persistent memory populations at levels determined largely, but not exclusively, by the dirtiness of the environment. After the first few weeks of life, however, these populations are continuously supplemented by new memory cells at rates that appear to be independent of environment, likely in response to self or ubiquitous commensal antigens.

Current and recent visitors

  • Joe Gillard and Tom Laws
  • Mario Castro works on mathematical models of systems where fluctuations are relevant (cellular and receptor immunology) and on pattern formation in spatially extended systems (from tumour cell modelling to cauliflower morphogenesis or nano-structuring). The figure shows comparisons of different mathematical models with real experiments.
  • Madhulika Mishra (IISc Bangalore)
  • Narmada Sambaturu (IISc Bangalore)
  • Sathya Baarathi (IISc Bangalore)
  • Shamik Majumdar (IISc Bangalore)

Applications for research leading to a PhD are welcome. Please apply here, naming a potential project and supervisor. Sample projects are as follows:
  • Analysis of high-throughput genomic data applied to diseases such as cancer
    Arief Gusnanto, Charles Taylor, Jeanine Houwing-Duistermaat
    Statistical modelling of copy number alteration in cancer: using statistical methodology to discover patterns within the genomic copy number alteration profiles in cancer patients and how the pattern can be utilised for improved prediction of cancer survival and patients' clinical characteristics.
    Genetic association in complex diseases and cancer: a collaboration with research groups in the School of Medicine to perform fine mapping around a previously identified location to identify genetic variants that are associated with cancer.
  • Mathematical immunology
    Grant Lythe and Carmen Molina-París
    Development of stochastic mathematical and computational models of the immune system in health and disease, of intra-cellular signalling to understand cell fate, and development of diffusive motion models of cell-cell interactions and receptor-ligand interactions.
  • Modelling biodiversity and ecosystems
    Sandro Azaele
    In this project you will be developing mathematical and computational tools for modelling spatial and temporal patterns in ecosystems, understanding their principal drivers across different scales, at population and community level. This will also help developing methodologies for upscaling biodiversity information from fine-scale sampling.
  • Modelling evolution on molecular and macroscopic scales
    Mauro Mobilia
    Inspired by recent results in biology, and also in behavioural sciences, we will combine notions of non-linear dynamics and evolutionary game together with the theory of stochastic processes and numerical simulations to investigate how noise and mobility influences the formation of coherent patterns.
  • Modelling of biomolecules
    Oliver Harlen and Daniel Read, in collaboration with the Astbury Centre
    Simulating the motions of large biomolecules such molecular motors and also soft colloidal particles, entities that are large enough to be beyond the scope of atomistic simulations (that model the motion of individual atoms), but small enough to be affected by thermal fluctuations (Brownian motion).

Recent programs, conferences and workshops