A mathematical framework for discovering spatial dynamic models of regeneration
Research Mentor: Daniel Lobo (Biological Sciences).
Planarian worms possess a complex morphology, including a true brain, eyes, nerve cords, a musculature and digestive system; yet, these worms can regenerate their full bodies from almost any amputated piece. During this regenerative process, the amputated piece re-scale and re-shape allometrically to the new size, producing a smaller but complete worm body with a proportionally scaled shape. Understanding the regulatory mechanisms controlling this complex process would pave the way for the much sought after biomedical applications for regenerative medicine. In this project, we will develop a mathematical framework for the study of the genetic regulatory mechanisms controlling growth and form in regenerating organisms, and apply it in a reverse-engineering methodology for the discovery of spatial dynamic models of planarian regeneration.