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
Tomorrow
14:00
Abstract

Genotype-phenotype associations can be results of direct effects, genetic nurturing effects and population stratification confounding (The nature of nurture: Effects of parental genotypes, Science, 2018, Deconstructing the sources of genotype-phenotype associations in humans, Science, 2019). Genotypes from parents and siblings of the proband can be used to statistically disentangle these effects. To maximize power, a comprehensive framework for utilizing various combinations of parents’ and siblings’ genotypes is introduced. Central to the approach is mendelian imputation, a method that utilizes identity by descent (IBD) information to non-linearly impute genotypes into untyped relatives using genotypes of typed individuals. Applying the method to UK Biobank probands with at least one parent or sibling genotyped, for an educational attainment (EA) polygenic score that has a R2 of 5.7% with EA, its predictive power based on direct genetic effect alone is demonstrated to be only about 1.4%. For women, the EA polygenic score has a bigger estimated direct effect on age-at-first-birth than EA itself.

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  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
22 January 2021
14:00
Abstract

A major challenge in the study of biological systems is that of model discovery: turning data into reduced order models that are not just predictive, but provide insight into the nature of the underlying system that generated the data. We introduce a number of data-driven strategies for discovering nonlinear multiscale dynamical systems and their embeddings from data.  Such data-driven methods can be used in the biological sciences where rich data streams are affording new possibilities for the understanding and characterization of complex, networked systems.  In neuroscience, for instance, the integration of these various concepts (reduced-order modeling, equation-free, machine learning, sparsity, networks, multi-scale physics and adaptive control) are critical to formulating successful modeling strategies that perhaps can say something meaningful about experiments.   These methods will be demonstrated on a number of neural systems.  I will also highlight how such methods can be used to quantify cognitive and decision-making deficits arising from neurodegenerative diseases and/or traumatic brain injuries (concussions).

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
5 March 2021
14:00
Abstract

We propose a mathematical model that unifies the psychiatric concepts of drug-induced incentive salience (IST), reward prediction error

(RPE) and opponent process theory (OPT) to describe the emergence of addiction within substance abuse. The biphasic reward response (initially

positive, then negative) of the OPT is activated by a drug-induced dopamine release, and evolves according to neuro-adaptative brain

processes.  Successive drug intakes enhance the negative component of the reward response, which the user compensates for by increasing the

drug dose.  Further neuroadaptive processes ensue, creating a positive feedback between physiological changes and user-controlled drug

intake. Our drug response model can give rise to qualitatively different pathways for an initially naive user to become fully addicted.  The

path to addiction is represented by trajectories in parameter space that depend on the RPE, drug intake, and neuroadaptive changes.

We will discuss how our model can be used to guide detoxification protocols using auxiliary substances such as methadone, to mitigate withdrawal symptoms.

If this is useful here are my co-authors:
Davide Maestrini, Tom Chou, Maria R. D'Orsogna

  • Mathematical Biology and Ecology Seminar
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