Title: Applications of Mathematics in Biology: Somite formation, cancer immunotherapy, and G protein signaling
Speaker: Kangling Liao (Tamkang University, Taiwan)
Abstract: In this talk, I will give you three examples: somite formation in zebrafish, cancer immunotherapy, and G protein signaling in plant cells, to show you how mathematical analysis, modeling, and simulation can help solve real-word problems.
In embryos, there are many interesting dynamics taking place during somite formation. However, the mechanisms for generating these dynamics are not very clear. In order to better understand this mechanisms, we used mathematical analysis on DDE systems for gene expression to investigate these scenarios theoretically. Combining our theoretical results and simulation, we found some suitable parameter regime that enables our model to mimic somite formation process in the embryo. In the second part, I will show you a newly discovered cancer immunotherapy involved immune-check point inhibitor anti-PD-1 and cytokine Interleukin-27 (IL-27). However, IL-27 has both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory functions, so whether IL-27 is an efficient treatment is still a controversial issue. To approach this problem, we constructed a PDE model with free boundary to mimic tumor growth under different dose combination, and then examine whether IL-27 is more like anti-tumor or pro-tumor cytokine. In the third part, I will use experiments on plant cells to show you how mathematical modeling and simulation can really help design experiments. I used simulations of an ODE system for G protein signaling to predict the relation between total AtRGS1 amount and its endocytosis, and then I performed fluorescence microscopy experiments to demonstrate my modeling predictions.