Mathematics and Statistics at EMBL
Mathematical modeling of cellular processes
Today, understanding biological phenomena from their multiple biological components is a cutting-edge research topic (and a part of systems biology). The collective behaviour in biology is more than a simple statistical average. It is a challenging problem for many reasons: 1) the diversity of molecular players is enormous; 2) their interactions are often dynamic and out-of-equilibrium; 3) the properties of the constituents have been selected by natural evolution, and are tuned for their task.
We develop new modeling tools to study the dynamic organization of living matter, and in particular of the cytoskeleton. Modeling allows us to recapitulate the process of protein organisation in a framework in which all the interactions are known exactly and can even be specified at will. These models are expressed in mathematical terms, and we need state-of-the-art applied mathematics to solve these equations.
Loughlin R, Heald R and Nedelec F. A computational model predicts xenopus meiotic spindle organization Journal of Cell Biology, vol. 191 no. 7 1239-1249; Dec 2010
Brun L, Rupp B, Ward J, Nedelec F. A theory of microtubule catastrophes and their regulation PNAS 106 (50) 21173-21178; Dec 2009.
Jekely G, Colombelli J, Hausen H, Guy K, Stelzer E, Nedelec F, Arendt D. Mechanism of phototaxis in marine zooplankton Nature 456, 395-399, Nov 2008.