Theoretical Developmental Biology | MERG

Theoretical Developmental Biology

Early mammalian development following fertilisation is an idiosyncratic process that is thought to depend on cell position and orientation.  Stem cell systems are exquisitely controlled through feedback mechanisms. Elucidating answers to either of these problems involves the application of population biology ideas and mathematical models.

Mammalian blastocyst cell organisation. Early mammalian development involves the formation of different cell types (trophectoderm, inner cell mass) we are interested in how this occurs through the geometrical and spatial orientation of cells. Mathematical models predict that differences in cell allocation to trophectoderm or inner cell mass are determined by cell position more than cell geometry.
Stem cell systems. Stem cell systems are thought be to be highly regulated. However, understanding the feedback processes and mechanisms involves an appreciation for both deterministic and stochastic processes. We are interested in exploring how different forms of uncertainty affect stem cell population dynamics.
Leukaemia and stem cell dynamics. As part of our broader goal to understand the dynamics of stem cell systems, understanding how and why these systems malfunction is a goal. Focusing on the hametopoietic system and leukaemia we are interested in developing mathematical models to predict and understand how important evolutionary and ecological principles are important in the dynamics of these sorts of cancers.
Selected Publications
Szekely, T., K. Burrage, M. Mangel and M.B. Bonsall (2014) Stochastic dynamics of interacting haematopoietic stem cell niche lineages. PLoS Computational Biology, 10, e1003794.
Mangel, M and M.B. Bonsall (2013) Stem cell biology is population biology: differentiation of hematopoietic multipotent progenitors to common lymphoid and myeloid progenitors. Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, 10, 5.
Shipley, R.J., M.B. Bonsall, D.J, Allwright and C.F. Graham (2009) Theoretical exploration of blastocyst morphogenesis. International Journal of Developmental Biology, 53, 447-457.
Mangel, M. and M.B. Bonsall (2008) Phenotypic evolutionary models in stem cell biology: replacement, quiescence and variability. PLoS One, 3, e1591.


People involved