Tuesday 24 April 2018

BioMaths Colloquium - 27/04/2018

BioMaths Colloquium Series - 2017/18

  27 April 2018 - 3pm Maths Seminar Room

(room 224 Talbot Building 2nd floor)

The coupling of calcium signalling and mechanics: models and experiments

Dr Katerina Kaouri

(School of MathematicsUniversity of Cardiff, UK) 

Image by Katerina Kaouri

Our BioMaths Colloquium Series resumes for the spring term with a seminar by Dr Katerina Kaouri, from the School of Mathematics at University of Cardiff (UK). Katerina Kaouri holds a DPhil in Applied Mathematics from Oxford, on the modelling of sonic booms (see here a TED-Ed animation on sonic booms). After postdoctoral work in mathematical biology at Oxford and Nottingham she worked as a business consultant for a few years. Then, upon returning to her home country, Cyprus, she taught at various Cypriot universities for several years and co-founded the non-profit organization SciCo Cyprus to communicate science to the public in interactive and entertaining ways, a mission close to her heart. Katerina is currently a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Cardiff University. 

Katerina uses deterministic and stochastic mathematical modelling, asymptotics and simulations to tackle questions arising from biology, physics and engineering, but also from industry and the society. In her math-bio research she focuses on the interplay of calcium signalling and mechanics, a challenge which is crucial in embryogenesis but can be of interest also in wound healing and cancer. Regarding the industry and society side, in 2016 she led the organization of the first Study Group with Industry in Cyprus, an intensive academia-industry workshop where 50 mathematical modelling experts from 17 countries solved four industrial challenges. She is also a core team member of the EU-funded Mathematics for Industry Network (31 countries) and of the SciShops.eu project (12 countries) tackling 250 societal challenges across Europe.

Calcium signalling is one of the most important mechanisms of information propagation in the body. In embryogenesis the interplay between calcium signalling and mechanical forces is critical to normal embryonic development, but poorly understood. Several types of embryonic cells exhibit calcium-induced contractions and several experiments indicate that calcium oscillations and contractions are linked via a two-way feedback mechanism; disruption of these calcium oscillations leads to embryo abnormalities. I will discuss some of these experiments and present appropriate mathematical models.

The discussions will continue over biscuits and tea/coffee after the seminar. 
Hope to see many of you!

For the list of forthcoming seminars, see here

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