Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar

Please note that the list below only shows forthcoming events, which may not include regular events that have not yet been entered for the forthcoming term. Please see the past events page for a list of all seminar series that the department has on offer.

Past events in this series
16 October 2020
14:00
Abstract

 Inherent fluctuations may play an important role in biological and chemical systems when the copy number of some chemical species is small. This talk will present the recent work on the stochastic modeling of reaction-diffusion processes in biochemical systems. First, I will introduce several stochastic models, which describe system features at different scales of interest. Then, model reduction and coarse-graining methods will be discussed to reduce model complexity. Next, I will show multiscale algorithms for stochastic simulation of reaction-diffusion processes that couple different modeling schemes for better efficiency of the simulation. The algorithms apply to the systems whose domain is partitioned into two regions with a few molecules and a large number of molecules.

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
23 October 2020
14:00
Abstract

Multi-modal data sets are growing rapidly in single cell genomics, as well as other fields in science and engineering. We introduce MultiMAP, an approach for dimensionality reduction and integration of multiple datasets. MultiMAP embeds multiple datasets into a shared space so as to preserve both the manifold structure of each dataset independently, in addition to the manifold structure in shared feature spaces. MultiMAP is based on the rich mathematical foundation of UMAP, generalizing it to the setting of more than one data manifold. MultiMAP can be used for visualization of multiple datasets as well as an integration approach that enables subsequent joint analyses. Compared to other integration for single cell data, MultiMAP is not restricted to a linear transformation, is extremely fast, and is able to leverage features that may not be present in all datasets. We apply MultiMAP to the integration of a variety of single-cell transcriptomics, chromatin accessibility, methylation, and spatial data, and show that it outperforms current approaches in run time, label transfer, and label consistency. On a newly generated single cell ATAC-seq and RNA-seq dataset of the human thymus, we use MultiMAP to integrate cells across pseudotime. This enables the study of chromatin accessibility and TF binding over the course of T cell differentiation.

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
30 October 2020
14:00
Abstract

Influenza viruses infect millions of individuals each year and cause a significant amount of morbidity and mortality. Understanding how the virus spreads within the lung, how efficacious host immune control is, and how each influences acute lung injury and disease severity is critical to combat the infection. We used an integrative model-experiment exchange to establish the dynamical connections between viral loads, infected cells, CD8+ T cells, lung injury, and disease severity. Our model predicts that infection resolution is sensitive to CD8+ T cell expansion, that there is a critical T cell magnitude needed for efficient resolution, and that the rate of T cell-mediated clearance is dependent on infected cell density. 
We validated the model through a series of experiments, including CD8 depletion and whole lung histomorphometry. This showed that the infected area of the lung matches the model-predicted infected cell dynamics, and that the resolved area of the lung parallels the relative CD8 dynamics. Additional analysis revealed a nonlinear relation between disease severity, inflammation, and lung injury. These novel links between important host-pathogen kinetics and pathology enhance our ability to forecast disease progression.

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
13 November 2020
14:00
Professor Heather Harrington
Abstract

Signalling pathways can be modelled as a biochemical reaction network. When the kinetics are to follow mass-action kinetics, the resulting
mathematical model is a polynomial dynamical system. I will overview approaches to analyse these models with steady-state data using
computational algebraic geometry and statistics. Then I will present how to analyse such models with time-course data using differential
algebra and geometry for model identifiability. Finally, I will present how topological data analysis can be help distinguish models
and data.

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
27 November 2020
14:00
Abstract

The puzzle-shaped cells that appear in the epidermis of many plants are a striking example of a complex cell shape. Since shape in an organism is often thought to be closely related to its function, it suggests that these unusual shapes must have some functional benefit to the plant. We 
propose that the creation of these complex shapes is an effective strategy to reduce mechanical stress in the cell wall. Although the 
formation of these shapes requires highly anisotropic and non-uniform growth at the sub-cellular level, it appears to be triggered by 
isotropic growth at the organ level. Analysis of cell shape over multiple species is consistent with the idea that the puzzle is in 
response to a developmental constraint, and that the mechanism is like to be conserved among higher plants.

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
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