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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
School of Mathematics

PI: Hans G. Othmer, Fellow

Mathematical Modeling of Problems in Signal Transduction, Cell Motility, and Pattern Formation in Developmental Biology

Much is known about the molecular components involved in signal transduction and gene expression in a number of model systems in developmental biology. The focus is now shifting to understanding how these components are integrated into networks, and how these networks transduce the inputs they receive and produce the desired pattern of gene expression. The major question is how the correct genes are turned on at the correct point in space at the correct time in development to produce the numerous cell types present in an adult. Gene expression during embryonic development is not a cell-autonomous process, because cell fate in a multicellular embryo usually depends on the cell’s location in the embryo. Pattern formation in development refers to the spatially- and temporally-organized expression of genes in a multicellular array, and frequently this results from the response of individual cells to a spatial pattern of chemicals called morphogens.

These researchers are using MSI resources for several projects related to the growth, development, and motion of cells and tissues.

Group Members

Christina M. Brakken-Thal, Graduate Student
Benjamin Jordan, Collaborator
Jifeng Hu, Graduate Student
Hye-Won Kang, Research Associate
Varunya Khamviwath, Graduate Student
Brian Skjerven, Graduate Student
Magdalena Stolarska, Department of Mathematics, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota
Qixuan Wang, Graduate Student
Xiangrong Xin, Graduate Student
Likun Zheng, Graduate Student