[PAST EVENT] Mathematics Colloquium: William Holmes, University of California at Irvine

November 20, 2013
2pm - 3pm
Jones Hall, Room 131
200 Ukrop Way
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Numerous cell functions require self organized polarity, e.g. cells must form a "front" and "back." Examples include cell motility (which I will primarily discuss), division, and neuronal growth. In some cases this polarity can form spontaneously and in others sufficiently large stimuli are required. In yet other cases, polarity determinants exhibit highly dynamic wave like behavior. I will first discuss the dichotomy between spontaneous and stimulus induced polarization and how a cells sensitivity to external stimuli might be modulated. In order to address this and analyze the models being presented, I will describe a new technique, the Local Perturbation Analysis, for analyzing complex, spatially distributed biochemical networks. I will then build in these results and discuss a unifying regulatory mechanism capable of giving rise to these distinct polarity phenotypes.

Time permitting; I will describe alternative work aimed at understanding the process of central nervous system regeneration after injury or disease. In particular, I will describe a spatial stochastic model of this process and use it to determine regulatory strategies that lead to a robust regeneration response.

Junping Shi