Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher, professor and director at UConn Health and a professor of computational biology at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, will visit the Texas A&M University campus next month to deliver the 2020 Sue Geller Undergraduate Lecture, the fifth in an annual series intended to educate and inspire students in the Texas A&M Department of Mathematics.
Laubenbacher, a recognized expert in multiscale computational models of disease processes, systems biology and biomedical data science, will present “Mathematics and Medicine” on Monday, March 23, at 6 p.m. in Room 117 of the John R. Blocker Building. The event will be preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m. and followed by a brief discussion opportunity from 7 to 7:30 p.m.
The use of mathematical and computational techniques in the life sciences has exploded in recent decades, driven in part by the increased availability of data at all spatial and temporal scales. In medicine, these data have enabled the calibration of mathematical and statistical models that play a key role in the rise of personalized medicine. Laubenbacher’s lecture will present some examples of mathematical approaches to disease, its understanding and its treatment.
Laubenbacher joined UConn Health in May 2013 as professor in the Department of Cell Biology and director of the Center for Quantitative Medicine. He holds a joint appointment in computational biology at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine. Prior to these appointments, he served as a professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and the Department of Mathematics at Virginia Tech since 2001. He was an adjunct professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem (NC) and affiliate faculty in the Virginia Tech Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. He has served as visiting faculty at Los Alamos National Laboratories, the Mathematical Science Research Institute at Berkeley and Cornell University.
Current interests in Dr. Laubenbacher’s research group include the development of multi-scale computational models of disease processes, in particular the immune response to respiratory fungal pathogens, the role of iron in tumor growth, and the control of heterogeneous biofilms. Another interest is the use of advanced data science methods to analyze routinely collected healthcare data.
The Geller Undergraduate Lecture Series was founded in 2016 as the Mathematics Undergraduate Research Lecture to provide a venue for undergraduate students to interact with leading researchers from outside Texas A&M who have also demonstrated a deep interest in and capacity for student mentoring. It was renamed in 2018 to honor Dr. Sue Geller, a longtime Texas A&M mathematician as well as the founder and longtime director of Texas A&M Mathematics Honors, the first department-level honors program at Texas A&M. Known to students as Dr. Sue, Geller has supervised more than 100 masters students and has mentored an uncountable (although finite) number of undergraduates. Her honors include the Ron Barnes Distinguished Service to Students Award from the Texas section of the Mathematical Association of America and the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Student Relations.
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