Excellence in Mathematical Biology

Cluster leads: Warren Grayson, Biomedical Engineering, and Elana Fertig, Oncology 

Mathematical Biology is a field in which models of complex biological systems are built in order to understand and predict the behavior of these systems. Moreover, designing these models directly from the rules that govern biological systems further enables inquiry into the fundamental mechanisms and timing in the prediction of future states of biological systems. This discipline uniquely enables computational predictions to design the next experiment, therapeutic, or biomarker. Enabling these biological advances requires further theoretical and methodological advances in mathematics. Modeling techniques include differential equations, partial differential equations, signaling networks. For example, the Fitzhugh-Nogumo model for neural signal propagation is a system of coupled partial differential equations (PDEs). Taken together, mathematical Biology is an enabling technology that has helped transform biology and physiology into quantitative sciences. Mathematical Biology is inherently an interdisciplinary pursuit. The excellence of Johns Hopkins investigators in mathematics, biology, medicine, and computational biology provides a rich environment in which Mathematical Biology can thrive. At Johns Hopkins, practitioners are housed in various departments – Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Biophysics, Neuroscience, etc. We believe the Fannie Gaston-Johansson Faculty of Excellence Program can have a profound impact in diversifying faculty who work at this intersection of life sciences and mathematics.