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Seminars

UBM Distinguished Speaker Series
Thursday, May 5, 2016 – 4:00 p.m. 105 Public Policy
Richard Bertram, Ph.D.

Department of Mathematicss and Programs in
Neuroscience & Molecular Physics
Florida State University
“Marrying Mathematical and Experimental Biology”

UBM@UMBC Special Seminar
Friday, October 31, 2014 – 4:00 p.m. BS 461
José Feijó, Ph.D.
Department of Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics
University of Maryland, College Park

UBM@UMBC Special Seminar
Thursday, November 7, 2013 – 1:00 p.m. BS 461
Eric Stone, PhD
Biological Sciences
North Carolina State University
“A Mathematical Look at Biological Graphs”

UBM@UMBC Lecture Series
Friday, October 11, 2013 – 12:00 noon – BS 004
David Weisrock, PhD
Department of Biology
University of Kentucky
“Next Generation Phylogenetics: Using Genomics and Bioinformatics to Understand Speciation and Relationships in Salamanders”

UBM@UMBC Distinguished Speaker Series
Friday, November 30, 2012 – 12:00 noon – Lecture Hall 1
James P. Keener, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Mathematics
University of Utah
“The Mathematics of Life – Decisions, Decisions”

Cleland-ThomasUBM@UMBC Distinguished Speaker Series
Friday, March 28, 2012 – 12:00 noon – Lecture Hall 1
Thomas Cleland, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Cornell University
“The computational architecture of olfaction: learning and memory in high dimensions”

UBM@UMBC Distinguished Speaker Series
Professor John Guckenheimer
Department of Mathematics
Cornell University
“Mixed Mode Oscillations”
Friday, December 9, 2011
12:00 noon – Lecture Hall I

UBM@UMBC Distinguished Speaker Series
Monday, October 10, 2011, 11:00 a.m., MP 401
Robert Manning, Ph.D.
William H. & Johanna A. Harris Chair of Computational Science
Haverford College
Title: Mathematical Modeling of DNA
Abstract: DNA looping is the name given to a biological process in which short segments of DNA (40-400 basepairs) deform to meet some boundary conditions; cyclization iis the special case of periodic boundary conditions. Several recent cyclization experiments have revealed special DNA sequences with unusually high flexibility, out of sync with current models. We consider two discrete models of DNA—one that treats the basepairs as rigid and one that treats the individual bases as rigid—-with an eye toward new flexibility parameters that may be able to explain the high flexibility experiments.

Kimberly Daniels and Jacquelyn Meisel, UBM Students
Sponsor: UBM Program
Date: Wednesday, September 21
Time: 12:00 Noon MP 401
Title: A Mathematical Model of the Inactivation of Melanopsin’s Phototransduction Cascade

David Stonko and Shealinna Ge, UBM Students
Sponsor: UBM Program
Date: Wednesday, September 21
Time: 12:00 Noon MP 401
Title: Characterizing the cellular responses to a molecular gradient: a mechanistic mathematical model

Kimberly Daniels and Jacquelyn Meisel, UBM Students
UBM Seminar, August 1, 2011. Oral presentation of summer research to the UBM Program Members

Mr. Greg Handy, UMBC
Sponsor: Dr. Brad Peercy, Assistant Professor, Mathematics & Statistics
Date: Monday, May 2, 2011
Time: 12:00 Noon MP 401
Title: Extending the IP3 Receptor Model to Include Competition with Partial Agonists.
Abstract: The inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) receptor is a Ca2+ channel located in the endoplasmic reticulum and is regulated by IP3 and Ca2+. In 1992, De Young and Keizer created an eight-state, nine-variable model of the IP3 receptor (Young, Keizer, 1992). In their model, they accounted for three binding sites, a site for IP3, activating Ca2+, and deactivating Ca2+. The receptor is only open if IP3 and activating Ca2+ is bound. Li and Rinzel followed up this paper in 1994 by introducing a reduction that made it into a two variable system. A recent publication by Rossi et al. in 2009 studied the effect of introducing IP3-like molecules, referred to as partial agonists, into the cell (Rossi, 2009). Initial results suggest a competitive model, where IP3 and partial agonists fight for the same binding site. We extend the original eight-state model to a twelve-state model in order to illustrate this competition, and perform a similar reduction to that of Li and Rinzel. Using this reduction we solve for the equilibrium open probability of the model. We then replicated graphs provided by the Rossi paper, and find that while the model misses some of the quantitative measures it captures key qualitative characteristics. Using the model we can suggest biophysical reasons for the mismatch. We then plug the reduced model into a full cell model, in order to analyze the effects partial agonists have on the propagation of calcium waves in two dimensions.

Ms. Zana Coulibaly, UMBC
Sponsor: Dr. Brad Peercy, Assistant Professor, Mathematics & Statistics
Date: Monday, April 25, 2011
Time: 11:00 a.m. MP 401
Title: Insight into Spontaneous Recurrent Calcium Waves in a 3-D Cardiac Cell Based on Analysis of a 1-D Deterministic Model.
Abstract: Spontaneous calcium sparks, under certain conditions, can lead to propagation of a self-initiated calcium wave in a heart cell. It is a concern that self-initiated calcium wave propagation in heart cells can in turn lead to irregular heart beats, which can potentially cause cardiac Arrhythmia. Studying a model of this phenomenon, such as we do with a system of coupled reaction-diffusion equations with stochastic release, at the cellular level with sub-cellular refinement requires computationally intensive long-time simulations. Previous studies showed that wave propagations (without recovery), are sensitive to certain parameters involved in the 3-D model. To gain insight into the parameter set that may lead the model to display behaviors that are biophysically acceptable and experimentally relevant, we perform a parameter analysis based on a 1-D deterministic version of the model. This analysis led us to determine a range of parameters that when used in the 3-D model generate spontaneous recurrent calcium waves with recovery!

Kimberly Daniels and Jacquelyn Meisel
UBM Seminar April 11, 2011, Oral Presentation on a paper by T.D. Lamb and E.N. Pugh, Jr.

UBM@UMBC Distinguished Lecture Series
Tuesday, April 5, 2011, 4:00 pm, Lecture Hall I
Carlos Castillo-Chavez, PhD

Regents’ Professor and Joaquin Bustoz Jr. Professor of
Mathematical Biology
Arizona State University
Dispersal and Recurrence in Disease Dynamics: The Case of Influenza
Time: 4:00 p.m. – Lecture Hall 1
Abstract: The role of mathematical models in the study of disease dynamics has a long and distinguished history that goes back to three physicians: Daniel Bernoulli, Sir Ronald Ross, and A. G. MacKendrick. Why were mathematical models introduced? This question will be addressed by revisiting early and recent applications of contagion models. Some of the mechanisms responsible for recurrent epidemic outbreaks (influenza being the underlying disease) or what appear to be periodic outbreaks over short-and long-time scales will be identified. The role of movement (dispersal) on disease dynamics in the context of topics that include for example, the deliberate release of biological agents, will be discussed.

Brad Peercy, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Date: Monday, March 28, 2011
Title: Vitamin D: Mathematical Modeling to Better Immunity
Time: 11:00 a.m. – MP 401
Lab Page
Vitamin D is created when we are exposed to sunlight and vitamin D can be supplemented in our diet. Though vitamin D acts in several primary ways, how it can affect our immune response is of significant interest. We develop a mathematical model to address the question of which mechanism (if any) generates significant levels of the active form of vitamin D leading to genetic response in a type of white blood cell. After initial steady state analysis, we reduce the high-dimensional system to an equivalent low-dimensional system including a seemingly novel application of the rapid buffering approximation.

Tim Walston, PhD,Truman State University
BioMath Program
Title: A worm that won’t destroy your PC: An interdisciplinary approach to understanding the embryo.
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 – 12:00 noon – BS 004
Informal Workshop with Dr. Walston at 2:00 p.m. in BS 224

Patrick O’Neill, Towson University
Department of Mathematics
Title: Finite Splicing Systems, Logically and Algebraically
Date: Monday, February 28, 2011 – 12:00 noon – MP 401

Senior Thesis Seminars
Mr. Geoffrey Clapp and Ms. Alexandria Volkening, UMBC
(Mentors: Dr. Kathleen Hoffman and Dr. Jonathan Bell)
Titles: TBA
Date: Monday, November 29, 2010 – 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon – MP 401

Kathleen Hoffman, PhD
Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Title: Chaos in a Predator-Prey Model with a Scavenger
Date: Monday, October 18, 2010 – 11:00 am – 12:00 noon – MP 401