I am an full professor in the Department of Applied Science at The College of William and Mary with research interests in mathematical aspects of cell biology and neuroscience.
I often collaborate closely with physiologists to develop mathematical models of an experimental preparation of interest. Once such a model is developed to reproduce the significant features of experimental observation, explicit predictions about cellular responses are made and subsequently confirmed or invalidated by future experiment.
Graduate and undergraduate students in my group are using computational and mathematical approaches to investigate the dynamics of calcium (Ca) release at inositol (1,4,5)-trisphosphate (IP3)-senstive Ca release sites. Our work is attempting to account for the stochastic activation and inactivation of IP3 receptors consistent with current knowledge of IP3 diversity as well as a realistic account of the buffered diffusion of intracellular Ca and cooperative IP3 receptor activity.
In collaboration with Saleet Jafri (School of Computational Sciences, George Mason University) and Eric Sobie (New York University and University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute), I have introduced a population density approach to modeling stochastic aspects of local Ca signaling in cardiac myocytes. The resulting multiscale models of cardiac excitation-contraction (EC) coupling are used to address questions related to graded release during EC coupling, defects in EC coupling that occur during congestive heart failure, and whether Ca sparks can account for experimentally observed "leak" of Ca from internal stores.
In collaboration with John Rinzel, Lee Cox, and S. Murray Sherman, I have developed several conductance-based neuronal network models and population density models of the lateral geniculate nucleus, a visually responsive region of the thalamus. The goal of this computational neuroscience research is to understand the function of inhibitory neurons associated with the lateral geniculate nucleus.
I am a Neuroscience Program Faculty Affiliate, Director of the W&M Biomathematics Initiative, and co-organizer of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory International Summer School on Computational Cell Biology (w/ Les Loew and John Tyson).