[Amath-seminars] [TOMORROW] Boeing Lecture by Prof. Natalia Komarova (UC Irvine)

King-Fai Li kfli at uw.edu
Wed Oct 18 09:34:55 PDT 2017


TIME : Next Thursday (October 19, 2017), 4 pm - 5 pm.

VENUE : Smith Hall 205, University of Washington

SPEAKER : Prof. Natalia Komarova (UC Irvine)

TITLE : Stochastic calculus of stem cells

ABSTRACT : Stem cells are an important component of tissue
architecture. Identifying the exact regulatory
circuits that can stably maintain tissue homeostasis
(that is, approximately constant size) is critical
for our basic understanding of multicellular
organisms. It is equally critical for figuring
out how tumors circumvent this regulation, thus
providing targets for treatment. Despite great
strides in the understanding of the molecular
components of stem-cell regulation, the overall
mechanisms orchestrating tissue homeostasis are
still far from being understood. Typically, tissue
contains the stem cells, transit amplifying cells,
and terminally differentiated cells. Each of these
cell types can potentially secrete regulatory
factors and/or respond to factors secreted by other
types. The feedback can be positive or negative in
nature. This gives rise to a bewildering array of
possible mechanisms that drive tissue regulation.
In this talk I describe a novel stochastic method
of studying stem cell lineage regulation, which is
based on population dynamics and ecological
approaches. The method allows to identify possible
numbers, types, and directions of control loops that
are compatible with stability, keep the variance
low, and possess a certain degree of robustness.
I will also discuss evolutionary optimization and
cancer-delaying role of stem cells.


1. You are welcome to join the reception in the Lewis Hall
after the seminar.

2. There are a few time slots to meet with Prof. Komarova
individually. Please sign up at


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