BLACKSBURG, Va., February 28, 2006 - Researchers from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech recently presented at a workshop entitled, "Modeling and Simulation of Biological Networks," which was held at the annual meeting of the American Mathematical Society.

american mathematical society logo The presentations took place at the 2006 Joint Mathematics Meetings on January 12-15, 2006 in San Antonio, Texas.

The workshop, which was organized and introduced by VBI Research Professor and Virginia Tech Professor of Mathematics Reinhard Laubenbacher, presented state-of-the-art examples of the use of mathematics, statistics, and computer science to understand biological systems.

Madhav Marathe, professor and deputy director of Basic Simulation Science and Computer Science at VBI; Pedro Mendes, research associate professor at VBI; and Brandilyn Stigler, postdoctoral fellow at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at The Ohio State University and former VBI graduate researcher, gave presentations at the workshop. Three additional presentations explored the role of mathematics in life sciences and biomedical research.

In recent years, mathematical and statistical tools have become increasingly useful in helping scientists to understand diverse biological networks that range from genetic information in organisms to the biochemical networks involved in cell metabolism. The workshop examined in detail some of the mathematical, simulation, and modeling challenges posed by this type of work and also explored "nontraditional" mathematical approaches to the study of biological networks.

The Joint Mathematics Meetings are sponsored by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). AMS provides programs and services for the mathematical community that promote mathematical research and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and everyday life.

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Published by Susan Bland, February 27, 2006