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NIMBioS Seminar Series

In conjunction with the interdisciplinary activities of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), a seminar series on topics in mathematical biology will be hosted at NIMBioS every other Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) in the Hallam Auditorium, Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd. Seminar speakers will focus on their research initiatives at the interface of mathematics and many areas of the life sciences. Light refreshments will be served in Room 205 beginning 30 minutes before each talk. Faculty and students from across the UT community are welcome to join us.

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L. Melara photo.

Speaker: Dr. Luis Melara, Mathematics, Shippensburg Univ.; Visiting Scholar, NIMBioS and Mathematics, Univ. of Tennessee.

Time/Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 3:30 p.m.*

Location: Room 206, Claxton Building, 1122 Volunteer Blvd.

Topic: Optimal Control of Treatments for Retinitis Pigmentosa

Abstract: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a degenerative eye disease affecting millions of people worldwide. This presentation will discuss two treatments for RP: Rod-derived Cone Viability Factor (RdCVF) and Mesencephalic-Astrocyte-derived-Neurotrophic Factor (MANF). Both treatments rescue photoreceptors in the eye. We model the RdCVF and MANF treatments by mathematically representing them as optimal control problems. We also present a preliminary optimal control model for mixed treatments of RP developed from previous work. Numerical results are presented and discussed.

Luis Melara is an associate professor of Mathematics at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. He obtained his B.S. in Applied Mathematics from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University. He completed a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and is a past Fulbright-Nehru Scholar at the Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar. He is the current Editor-In-Chief for SIAM Undergraduate Research Online (SIURO). His current research interests are in mathematical biology and optimal control.

*Join us for refreshments at 3 p.m.

Seminar Flyer (pdf)

For more information about this and other NIMBioS Seminars, visit

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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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