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Visualizing wild-type and mutant development

Trainee Achievements

Visualizing wild-type and mutant development

The vertebrate limb is a model system in developmental biology, with rich but disparate literature on its genetic factors, protein functions, and mechanical properties. Using a mathematical model and computer simulation, trainee Ben Jordan is using the interaction between chemical kinetics and growth mechanics to visualize wild-type and mutant development, unifying 50+ years of data in a single medium. The formulation and parameterization of this type of model required a deeper understanding between the coupling between growth and protein concentration. To achieve this, Ben met at biweekly intervals with Prof. Dumais from the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology department, Prof. Zhigang Suo from the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to discuss how to mathematically represent growth. Additionally, a new high performance workstation was purchased and configured to solve simulations, enabling Ben to resolve the complex and highly nonlinear nature of this problem quickly.