Topic: Mathematical Modeling of Intracellular Movements (MMiMo)
Meeting dates: October 24-26, 2011
Vasileios Maroulas (Dept. of Mathematics, Univ. of Tennessee)
Andreas Nebenführ (Dept. of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, Univ. of Tennessee)
Ram Dixit (Dept. of Biology, Washington Univ. )
Panos Stinis (Dept. of Mathematics, Univ. of Minnesota)
Anja Geitmann (Dept. of Biological Sciences, Univ. of Montreal)
Objectives. Recent advances in live cell microscopy have resulted in a flood of time-lapse observations that reveal a high degree of motility inside cells. Quantitative analysis of these movements is necessary to gain a full understanding of intracellular dynamics and their regulation. This analysis is often hampered by the sheer complexity of the movements, the great number of objects to be tracked, and the diffraction limit of optical microscopes. At the same time, mathematical and statistical models have made significant progress in producing fast algorithms that reliably track multiple objects in space. In some cases, these models were successfully applied to cell biological data sets, but the full potential of a rigorous mathematical approach that can be employed across a wide range of biological processes has not been realized. MMiMo will bring together experts from cell biology as well as mathematics, statistics, computational science and physics to discuss current approaches and possible alternatives.
MMiMo’s first goal is to address to an interdisciplinary audience for the first time the major challenges for developing robust computational algorithms to reliably track intracellular dynamics. Some of the key challenges include:
Overcoming of the mathematical and computational problems will lead to the MMiMo’s second aim to answer biological questions, such as:
We anticipate that the creation of a set of robust computational algorithms will enable cell biologists to address additional questions in a quantitative fashion.
Evaluation report (PDF)
Summary Report. Experts in the research fields of intracellular transportation processes, statistical tracking, and biomathematical modeling made 20-minute presentations followed by a 10-minute discussion. Talks were followed by four parallel group discussion sessions wherein a number of specific suggestions were proposed, including identifying the needs of the community at large, such as image open source repositories and platforms for sharing mathematical and computational models. Future research directions include the denoising of microscopy raw data at each time instance, accurate description of the dynamics of particle motion, and tracking schemes which should be followed depending on the type of intracellular process.
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