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BME Prospective Faculty Seminar - Wed., Jan. 25

Event Date: January 25, 2017
Hosted By: Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: MJIS 1001, WL campus
Priority: No
School or Program: Biomedical Engineering
College Calendar: Show
Elsje Pienaar, PhD, a Research Investigator with Chemical Engineering and Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Michigan will present a research seminar entitled "Computational systems pharmacology in infectious disease pathogenesis and treatment: tuberculosis as a case study" on Wednesday, January 25th, at 9:30 a.m. in MJIS 1001.

Abstract: Quantitative approaches in complex biological systems require well-defined strategies to construct models and incorporate a variety of experimental data. I illustrate one such strategy applied to tuberculosis (TB) pathogenesis and therapy. TB poses a global public health threat, causing 9.6 million new infections and 1.5 million deaths each year. Three of the challenges facing new TB treatment strategies are: 1) complex disease pathology (i.e. spherical lesions form in the lung), 2) bacterial adaptation to the host leading to lower antibiotic susceptibility, and 3) optimization of combination therapy (necessary to avoid drug resistance). We use mechanistic computational models to address these challenges by integrating multiple experimental datasets into a single computational framework. I describe our methods for linking multiple model types including agent-based, constraint-based, ODE and PDE models; discuss the calibration process for each of the model components to non-human primate, rabbit, human and/or in vitro data; and present applications for predicting infection and treatment outcomes that can complement and inform future animal or human trials. Finally, I highlight how these methods can be applied in other communicable and non-communicable disease research.

Bio:  Elsje is a Research Investigator in the Department of Chemical Engineering, with a joint appointment in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan. Her background is in applied mathematics and she received her doctorate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Nebraska. She also completed postdoctoral training in medical microbiology in Linkoping, Sweden.

Dr. Pienaar is a prospective faculty candidate for the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.