Complex Biological Systems Group

Department of Mathematics, University of Pittsburgh


About Us






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Complex Biological Systems Group
University of Pittsburgh
Department of Mathematics
301 Thackeray Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Tel: (412) 624-6157
Fax: (412) 624-8397

About Us

Biological systems are characterized by many space and time scales. Time scales ranging from milliseconds to years are not uncommon in the same system. The spatial organization of single molecules, such as proteins, can produce the forms of complete organisms, which in turn can organize into spatially complex populations across distances on the order of kilometers. Thus, one of the key components in modeling biological systems is to understand not only what the relevant scales are, but also, how to bridge them. Mathematics and computation now play a much greater role in the study of biological systems and it is necessary to develop strong training programs for a new generation of U.S. scientists who are comfortable in both mathematical and biological disciplines.

Our group at the University of Pittsburgh is well suited to play a significant role in this emergent area. We are linked through a network of ongoing interdisciplinary research projects, involving strong collaborations throughout the University with a wide variety of experimentalists and theoreticians in the biomedical sciences. The core group of researchers we have assembled has strengths in many areas of applied mathematics ranging from nonlinear dynamics to large scale computing. This group focuses on training a new generation of scientists in (i) the development of analytical and computational algorithms for solving complex spatio-temporal problems that arise in biology and (ii) applications of these and other methods to problems arising in neuroscience and inflammation. While neuroscience and inflammation may seem to be only distantly related, they both require similar methods of modeling. Both are characterized by complex positive and negative feedback loops, both involve compartmentalized spatial organization, and both span multiple time and space scales.

Our active research program in these areas offers an exciting range of interdisciplinary opportunities for trainee research. By complementing these research opportunities with a comprehensive program of training activities, we ensure that trainees emerging from our group are well prepared to excel in the next steps in their scientific careers.


We are conveniently located in Thackeray Hall, in the heart of Oakland Campus of the University of Pittsburgh, only few minutes walk from UPMC and other medical facilities.