AMATH 382/BIOL 382: Computational Modelling of Cellular Systems

Offered in the winter term of even years.

Brief description:

This course offers an introduction to the rapidly developing field of computational modeling at the cellular level. While there is a long history of such models in the mathematical and theoretical biology literature, the area is now witnessing an explosion in activity. This is primarily due to the advent of new experimental techniques which allow highly accurate data to be collected with great efficiency. The system-wide time course data which is being collected can best be addressed by the construction of dynamic models, and it is becoming increasingly clear to the biology community that full understanding of dynamic cellular processes can only be achieved through the use of these mathematical tools.

The course will be of interest to students in the Math Faculty as well as students in bioinformatics, biochemistry, biology, scientific computation and chemical engineering. As such, the mathematical prerequisites are kept to a minimum (one year calculus).

Sampling of material covered:

Introduction to cellular dynamics, time scale separation, Michaelis-Menten kinetics, models of calcium oscillation. Intercellular communication: gap junctions, synaptic transmission, neural networks. Genetic networks: lac operon, cell cycle controls. Signal transduction: bacterial chemotaxis, signaling cascades. Regulation of metabolism: glycolysis, large-scale metabolic models.


Computational Cell Biology, Fall, Marland, Wagner, Tyson, Editors.


  • One year calculus