Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 11:30am
Data measurements of biological systems are often indirect and may be limited by clinical or experimental constraints. I will show how dynamic mathematical models can be used to aid interpretation of biological data, focusing on two recent applications: the dynamics of within-host HIV infection and the population dynamics of Daphnia magna, an ecologically important organism in the context of toxicology.
Latently infected cells in HIV patients act as a reservoir that can reseed the infection after anti-retroviral therapy cessation. In collaboration with clinicians at Mass. General Hospital, we combined modeling with clinical data to propose novel immuno-modulatory strategies for reducing the HIV reservoir in patients.
A concern for environmental hazard assessments is that hazard predictions for population/ecosystems are derived solely from the evaluation of toxicity data at the organism level. We have developed a structured population model that can be used to propagate the assessment of Daphnia magna organismal responses, i.e., to environmental change, to the population level, thereby enabling the causal association of organismal responses to ecosystems adversity. This work is performed in collaboration with toxicologists at NCSU.