Particle-Based Stochastic Reaction-Diffusion Models in Biology (14w5103)


(University of British Columbia)

Mark Flegg (Monash University)

(Boston University)

(Uppsala University)

(University of California Santa Barbara)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Particle-Based Stochastic Reaction-Diffusion Models in Biology" workshop from November 9th to November 14th, 2014.

Throughout the previous century scientists have done a very good job at investigating and cataloguing biological processes at a cellular and subcellular level. Understanding of these processes has led to significant advances in fields such as medicine. However, for many of these processes human understanding is only qualitative. This is because a quantitative mathematical description of these small biological systems are very complex and involve many different species of cells and/or molecules (such as proteins). Furthermore, these systems are usually on a scale that is so small that classical deterministic mathematical approaches are insufficient. A quantitative mathematical description on such scales must be inherently stochastic in nature and often involve very small, but significant, numbers of randomly moving (diffusing) elements (cells, molecules, proteins etc) reacting and interacting with each other. There has been a large international effort in the last decade to produce efficient computer simulation algorithms which can accurately model these processes. Indeed, such algorithms could be used as predictive tools in molecular and cellular biology to aid laboratory experimentation. The creation of a computer simulation which accurately models all the components of a cell has been labelled a 'grand challenge' of this century for the biological sciences.

This five day workshop is designed to bring together international leaders and up and coming academics researching particle-based reaction-diffusion simulation techniques in biology. Some of the aims of this workshop include; developing new innovative techniques which increase the efficiency and accuracy of simulation outcomes, facilitate international collaboration between mathematical modellers applying existing methods to biological problems, discuss sources of error associated with different simulation techniques, introduce new hybrid methods of simulation and to introduce early-career researchers to world leaders in the field and some of the existing mathematical problems associated with efficient and accurate simulation.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).