In the coming decade, the mathematical biosciences community – interpreted broadly to include applied mathematicians, statisticians, and those working in related disciplines, who view applications in the biological and life sciences as integral to their science – will face unprecedented opportunities to contribute understanding and tools that enable discovery in areas of fundamental societal importance. As scientists tackle challenges ranging from uncovering patterns of neural connectivity that give rise to intelligence to quantifying the functioning of evolving communities of microorganisms in areas ranging from global biogeochemistry to human health, mathematical bioscientists will be called upon to both develop and refine methodology tailored to these lines of inquiry. While the emerging field of data science will surely offer tools to assist in these efforts, modern takes on other core components of the mathematical biosciences – such as deterministic and stochastic modeling of complex dynamics, inferring causality in non-experimental settings, quantifying uncertainty, and ensuring reproducibility of results – will undoubtedly also play a central role in bioscientific discovery.
The new MBI is organized around three broad scientific research streams that flow in parallel: neuroscience, development & aging, and community dynamics & adaptation. MBI activities are designed to amplify the work of and support the growth of communities of mathematical and statistical scientists who are providing transformational contributions in these broad research streams.
The mission of MBI is to:
- Support and identify new opportunities for convergent research in the mathematical biosciences.
- Provide novel mathematical and statistical tools to leverage emerging bioscientific technologies for discovery.
- Develop and implement innovative training paradigms for the next generation of mathematical bioscientists.
In carrying out its mission, MBI adheres to the following guiding principles:
- Accessibility and Inclusivity. Programming is widely accessible and is designed to promote inclusivity in the mathematical biosciences.
- Community-Driven Programming. The national/international mathematical biosciences community prioritizes the distribution of funding.
- Evidence-Based Planning and Assessment. The MBI administrative and governance structure is designed to support the institute’s mission and enable it to be responsive to ongoing evidence-based evaluation and assessment of its programming and to emerging scientific priorities.