I am interested in Collective migration, or the coordinated movement of a population of cells. Our collaborators from the Xuedong Liu lab use wound healing experiments as a framework to study collective migration. These experiments consist of making a cut to a sheet of epidermal keratinocytes and observing how the remaining cells migrate and proliferate to fill in this wound of empty space. I use mathematical models to understand the mechanical and biochemical cues underlying collective migration. This includes elucidating how cells use physical connections to their neighbors to promote migration and a theoretical model of the simultaneous migration and biochemical activation of a cell population during wound healing. Participation in the IQ Biology program allowed me to spend my first year of grad school learning to discuss research projects from different angles with researchers from different fields.
John received a BS in Mathematics from North Carolina State University in May 2013. He rotated with Dr. Xuedong Liu (Biochemistry), Dr. David Bortz (Applied Mathematics), and Dr. Joaquin Espinosa (Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology). In 2014, he joined the Applied Mathematics Department and Dr. David Bortz's lab. John graduated in Spring 2018.
J. Nardini, D. Chapnick, X. Liu, D. Bortz. Modeling keratinocyte wound healing dynamics: cell-cell adhesion promotes sustained collective migration. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 7 July 2016, 103-117