Advances in mathematical and computer modeling of cell chemistry may lead to cures or effective treatments for major diseases such as cancer.
This class covers using mathematics and computer models to simulate cell chemistry for health and medicine. The class will give a technical introduction to simulating cell chemistry for a general audience using the free open-source program Smoldyn as an example of simulating cell chemistry. The class will cover the application of mathematics and computer modeling to cancer as a primary example. Mathematical models of tumor growth and spreading, a popular research topic, will be discussed. The class will cover the oncogene (cancer gene) theory of cancer, prospects for detailed models of cell differentiation and growth which is believed to malfunction in cancer, and using mathematics and computer modeling to design systems of "smart" drugs or synthetic multi-gene logic circuits that may be able cure or effectively treat cancer, overcoming the many difficulties that have been encountered with current single-gene based methods such as the drug Gleevec.
John F. McGowan, Ph.D. solves problems using mathematics and mathematical software, including developing video compression and speech recognition technologies. He has extensive experience developing software in C, C++, Visual Basic, Mathematica, MATLAB, and many other programming languages. Recently he was a Visiting Scholar at HP Labs (Palo Alto) working on computer vision related technology for mobile devices. He has worked as a contractor at NASA Ames Research Center involved in the research and development of image and video processing algorithms and technology. He has published articles on the origin and evolution of life, the exploration of Mars (anticipating the discovery of methane on Mars), and cheap access to space. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He can be reached at [masked].