PhD Defense by Pernille Yde – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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PhD Defense by Pernille Yde

Spatial Structures and Regulation in Biological systems

Spatial arrangements are very important for many biological systems and this thesis presents theoretical and computational studies of different biological systems, which are related to spatial arrangements at two different levels: one is the growth and shape of biological macromolecules and the other is multicellular regulation on tissue level.

Firstly, we study the growth of biological macromolecules, here related to Amyloid fibrillation and protein aggregation in general. Different aggregation model are presented and studied numerically and an analytical solution to the master equation describing frangible linear aggregation is derived.

Secondly, spatial regulation of biological systems is studied in relation to different aspects of the inflammatory response and type 2 diabetes. Inflammatory response in general is studied using a mathematical model, which couples single cell response in space. The model predicts the possible existence of propagating cytokine waves in the tissue, which behaves as an excitable medium. The model is extended to mimic cytokine regulation in the insulin producing pancreatic islets of Langerhans and we find that different spatial aspects such as islet size, shape and internal arrangements influence the resulting response greatly.

Assessment committee:
Professor Ulrich Gerland, LMU, Germany
Senior Researcher, Jesper Ferkinghoff-Borg, DTU
Chair: Namiko Mitarai, CMOL