Research Opportunities Database
Professor of Applied Mathematics
Department: Applied Mathematics
Phone: +1 401 863 3793
Research SummaryI work in several areas of mathematics and my interest in systems biology is more recent. I have been collaborating with engineers to design self-assembling systems on the nanoscale. Our general goal is to use biology as a source of inspiration for design and manufacture of devices on the nanoscale. For example, engineers have devised self-assembling circuits, microfluidic pumps, and microsurgical devices inspired by biology. This work has several aspects: my main contribution is modeling and analysis of biophysical processes. But I have two degrees in engineering, and I have a fairly good sense of what can be built, so I get along well with the engineers.
Past or Present Projects Available:"I am very interested in the modeling of single molecule pumps and ion channels, in particular the P-type ATP-ase's that regulate ion concentrations across various membranes. These are the smallest pumps known to man and are common to most forms of life. For example, they control Calcium concentration in the cell and thus regulate many critical cell function.
The structure of these molecular pumps has been revealed in exquisite x-ray crystallography experiments in the past few years. It is challenging, but valuable to try to understand how to model them. Biomimetic noise driven pumps are an incredible challenge in bioengineering.
Past undergraduate work in my group has resulted in major awards and publications. Andy Furnas '11 is a Marshall Scholar. REU work with Drew Kunas '12 and Maggie Ewing '10 was published in PNAS."