Illustrative examples of building collaborations between mathematics and biology/medicine

Mark Forest (August 28, 2012)

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I will discuss my approach to doing mathematical biology, which is by no means the best and hopefully not the worst, based on a simple rule: we have made a contribution when our collaborators say we have. * Thus far, I have developed four inspirational (for me) collaborations in math biology: a huge effort called the Virtual Lung Project; a study of single cell mechanochemical oscillations; a study of the yeast mitotic spindle in metaphase; and a study of viral-antibody interactions. I will discuss what I find cool about each of these projects, biologically and mathematically, and in particular why they are attractive for young mathematicians. For young researchers, it is important to know how to start, even more so how to sustain, a meaningful relationship and collaboration in math biology.

* A theme I borrowed from Fred Brooks, who started the Computer Science Department at UNC.