How does the genetic information encoded in the DNA produce the three-dimensional shape and function of multicellular organisms: animals and plants? A key question here is how cells cooperate to create biological structure, and how this biological structure feeds back on gene expression. This course will introduce students to the mathematical and computational biology of multicellular phenomena, covering a range of biological examples, including development of animals and plants, blood vessel growth, bacterial pattern formation and diversification, tumor growth and evolution.
At the end of course students will have an overview of and some hands-on experience with a range of mathematical and computational techniques (PDEs, cellular automata, Cellular Potts model, vertex-based models, etc.) that computational biologist use in the study of collective cell behavior and biological pattern formation. They are familiar with recent literature on multiscale biological modeling and they have some experience with constructing basic computational models and hypotheses of phenomena described in the biological literature.
The course consists of a series of lectures, practical assignments using biological modeling environments.
Form of examination
1) Practicum assignment, 30%
2) Final product, 30%
3) Written exam, 40%
Prerequisites The course assumes basic knowledge of programming and differential equation.
Handouts of slides, partial lecture notes and research papers will be provided during the course.