Stem Cells: Interplay Between Complex Data and Computational Models
Thursday, April 14, 2016
3:30PM – 5PM
Stem cells are a critical building block of life. Embryonic stem cells can differentiate into cells forming ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm during development, and adult stem cells can maintain the normal turnover of regenerative tissues (e.g. blood, skin, intestinal crypts). Recently, there has been an explosion of data on stem cells at various biological scales (e.g. gene expression and epigenetic measurements, lineage tracing, and molecules for intercellular communications). While data collected through different cell lines and animal models provide tremendous details on individual elements under various conditions, many gaps of knowledge and understanding remain on how stem cells carry out their remarkable functions and complex tasks. Mathematical models connecting interacting elements at different scales enable integration of massive, heterogeneous datasets collected with varying methods. In this talk, I will present several computational modeling frameworks with different complexity on multistage cell lineages driven by stem cells, which account for diffusive signaling molecules, regulatory networks, individual cells, mechanics, and evolution. Questions of our interest include role of feedbacks, stem cell niche for spatial organization, crosstalk between epigenetic and gene regulations, and cellular plasticity. In particular, I will discuss our recent effort on connecting modeling and complex experimental data to elucidate principles for stem cell dynamics in development, regeneration, and diseases.
Dr. Nie is a professor of Mathematics and Biomedical Engineering at University of California, Irvine (UCI). In research, he uses systems biology and data-driven approaches to study complex biological systems with focuses on embryonic development, stem cells, gene regulatory networks, and their applications to diseases. Dr. Nie has published more than 100 research articles. He has served in many NIH and NSF review panels, and has maintained a well-funded research program, currently with multiple NIH R01, project, and training grants, and NSF grants. In training, Dr. Nie has supervised near 30 postdoctoral fellows and PhD students, with many of them working in academic institutions. Dr. Nie was a UCI Chancellor Fellow. He currently serves as the director of the UCI campus-wide interdisciplinary gateway PhD program on Mathematical and Computational Biology, and the director of the Center for Mathematical and Computational Biology, as well as the associate director for UCI Center of Complex Biological Systems – a national center for systems biology funded by NIH. Dr. Nie is a fellow of the America Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellow of American Physical Society.
Hosted by George Biros