New video series spotlights mathematical biology

A new video series produced by the School of Mathematics and Statistics explores the increasingly important role of mathematics in modern biology, and what we can learn from the evolution of microorganisms.

From coral reef restoration and wound healing, to malaria treatments and understanding tumour growth, the emerging field of mathematical biology has the potential for powerful impact across many fields.

The six short videos feature interviews with Faculty of Science experts Dr Douglas Brumley, Professor James McCaw, Associate Professor James Osborne, Professor Jennifer Flegg and Professor Michael Stumpf who delve into the highly interdisciplinary – and considerably new – application of mathematics to help understand and predict physiological processes.

Speaking on their specialist fields of research, each academic shares insights into how a passion for mathematics has led them to tackle real-life challenges, and why mathematical modelling is one of the most exciting new tools in biology.

Watch the videos below.

Dr Douglas Brumley
Senior Lecturer in Applied Mathematics

“Mathematical biology gives us the capacity not just to study the environment and human health, but to actually learn from microorganisms, and borrow tools and techniques that they’ve developed through evolution for our own advantage.”

Professor James McCaw
Professor in Mathematical Biology

“We’re using mathematics, computation, simulation, and a lot of data analysis to try and understand the biological world. My group works on infectious diseases – we study how viruses and parasites like the malaria parasite spread within out body, and also how they transmit from person to person.”

Associate Professor James Osborne
Associate Professor in Applied Mathematics

“My research group uses multicellular mathematical modelling to try and understand biological systems. For example, how tissues in the body form organs, how they function, and what goes wrong.”

Professor Jennifer Flegg
Professor in Applied Mathematics

“Mathematical biology allows me to bring together two fields that I’m passionate about. I love doing mathematics, but I want to know that the mathematics I’m doing has an ultimate end goal and can be useful in society... My group looks at different ways to treat certain medical conditions. This ranges from wound healing to malaria and how drugs are used to treat malaria.”

Professor Michael Stumpf
Professor of Theoretical Systems Biology

“The research my group is tackling is trying to understand how cells make decisions. What affects, what drives the behaviour of cells in our body and in the environment… The potential impact of this research is that we are already producing new autoimmune therapies for complex disorders for which no other therapy exists.”

Team Video
Dr Douglas Brumley, Professor James McCaw, Associate Professor James Osborne, Professor Jennifer Flegg and Professor Michael Stumpf

“Mathematical biology is very important because it allows us to bring a suite of quantitative tools to bear on new and exciting problems in biology, and answer questions that couldn’t be answered in traditional techniques.”