IEM/CCoM Math/Bio Initiative Overview

In July 2014, NSF announced that an interdisciplinary team of bioengineers and mathematicians from the Institute of Engineering in Medicine (IEM) and Center for Computational Mathematics (CCoM) at UCSD received a 4-year $1M Math/Bio Initiative Award, which supports a collaborative project at the interface of mathematical and biological sciences. This is the main website for the Math/Bio Initiative Project, which is a collaboration between five investigators in the Departments of Bioengineering and Mathematics at UCSD:

Shaoying Lu (PI) (Email:
Randolph Bank (co-PI) (Email:
Philip Gill (Co-PI) (Email:
Michael Holst (Co-PI) (Email:
Yingxiao Wang (Co-PI) (Email:

The OPT-PDE Analysis and FRET Imaging Project Summary

Understanding molecular transport and interaction within single live cells is crucial for advancing life sciences and medicine. We integrate mathematical models with live-cell imaging to study diffusion tensor maps as well as the relationship between molecular transport and interaction in live cells. For this purpose, mathematical theory and computational algorithms for an optimization problem with partial differential equation constraints (OPT-PDE) will be developed for applications in image-based bioinformatics.

Based on the OPT-PDE simulation and analysis, the researchers will compute the diffusion map of intracellular molecules with high spatiotemporal resolution in live cells. Meanwhile, we will apply fluorescence resonant energy transfer (FRET)-based biosensors to visualize subcellular molecular activities. The correlative FRET imaging microscopy (CFIM) technology will then be employed to evaluate the connection between the subcellular diffusion and the molecular activity imaged by FRET in live cells. The results of this project will reveal the spatiotemporal connection between biochemical activities and biophysical properties of desired molecules in live cells. This 4-year program will support graduate students in Bioengineering and Mathematics during the academic year and summer sessions. The applications of the work are anticipated in computational biology, cell biology, biophysics, and biochemistry.

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