Department of Mathematics - Master Calendar

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Mathematical Biology Seminar

Event Type
Department of Mathematics
Altgeld 241
wifi event
Feb 22, 2024   1:00 pm  
Alexandria Volkening
Daniel Cooney
Originating Calendar
Mathematical Biology Calendar

Speaker: Alexandria Volkening (Purdue University)

Title: Modeling and quantifying cell behavior in biological pattern formation

Abstract: Many natural and social phenomena involve individual agents coming together to create group dynamics, whether the agents are drivers in a traffic jam, cells in a developing tissue, or locusts in a swarm. Here I will focus on the specific example of pattern formation in zebrafish, which are named for the dark and light stripes that appear on their bodies and fins. Mutant zebrafish, on the other hand, feature different skin patterns, including spots and labyrinth curves. All of these patterns form as the fish grow due to the interactions of tens of thousands of pigment cells. The longterm motivation for my work is to better link genes, cell behavior, and visible animal characteristics—I seek to identify the alterations to cell interactions that lead to mutant patterns. Toward this goal, I will overview our work using agent-based models to simulate pattern formation and make experimentally testable predictions. Because stochastic, microscopic models are not analytically tractable using traditional techniques, I will also discuss the topological methods that we have developed to quantify cell-based patterns and describe ongoing work on relating agent-based and continuum models.

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