Date: March 7, 2023
Speaker: Dr. Julio Belmonte
Affiliation: North Carolina State
Title: Developing Multi-Scale Cell-Centered Models for Disease and Morphogenesis
Abstract: After the great advances in genetics and molecular biology of the past decades, basic research in the life-sciences is finding a renewed interest in the physical mechanisms that drive biological processes. New fields such as mechanobiology and systems biology put emphasis at cell and tissue level scales, and a multitude of agent/cell-based models have appeared in the last two decades. In this talk I will discuss how such cell-centered models can help us gain a better understanding of biological processes which would not be possible with a gene- or molecular-centered approach alone. First, I will show how a cell-center model can reveal the combination of cellular processes that drive the left-right asymmetric development of the stomach. Next, I will show how an extension of the cellular Potts model (the subcellular Potts) allows us to increase the current range of cell-center models to include planar-cell-polarity (PCP) and mesenchymal-to-epithelial transitions as seen in somite formation. Lastly, I will show how this model was used to simulate cystogenesis and discern the mechanism driving Autosomal Polycystic Kidney Disease (APDK).