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Timothy Newman
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Arizona State University

Modeling Multicellular Systems using Many-body Theory

Robust multicellular structures and processes are crucial for the construction and function of higher organisms. In these systems large numbers of cells communicate through short and long-ranged interactions in order to achieve large-scale coherence. In this talk I will present a general framework for describing these systems, which is similar in spirit to many-body theory, which has been so successful in understanding coherent structures in physical systems. The framework provides some analytical insights into the behavior of multi-cellular systems, and also allows the construction of optimized off-lattice computer algorithms. If time allows, I will illustrate the latter in the context of early stages of chick embryogenesis, in particular the dynamics of primitive streak formation.


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