Multiscale Mathematical Biology
We develop multiscale, quantitative and predictive computational models of multicellular systems, together with experimental collaborators at a range of institutes in the Netherlands and abroad, including the Institute of Biology Leiden, the Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research, the Hubrecht Institute, Amsterdam Medical Center, VU University Medical Center, and the University of Pittsburgh. Our primary focus is on the mechanisms of biological growth and form, for which we develop multiscale, cell-based modeling approaches.
Multiscale, cell-based modeling
One of the most central questions in biology is how the sequential information in the genome translates to biological form and function.
We need two logical steps to explain how genetics drives biological development, which put the cell in the center of the explanation. First we ask how genes define the cell’s behavior, then we ask how collective cell behavior drives the formation of patterns, shapes, and physiological and pathological functionality at the tissue and organ level.
We are applying this multi-scale, cell-based approach to de novo and sprouting blood vessel growth (angiogenesis and vasculogenesis), to auxin-flux-driven patterning problems in plant development, to problems in tumor growth, and to modeling metabolism of the gut microbiota.