Who we are
Director, NSF-Simons Center for Mathematical & Statistical Analysis of Biological Systems
Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Genetics
Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Executive Director of Research, Quantitative Biology
CENTER MANAGEMENT TEAM
Professor of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology and of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, and of Physics;
Faculty Dean of Mather House of Harvard College
Professor of Systems Biology
Llura & Gordon Gund Professor of Neurosciences and of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Professor of Applied Physics and Stem Cell & Regenerative Biology
The NSF-Simons Center for Center for Mathematical & Statistical Analysis of Biological Systems at Harvard has three programmatic aims:
- Advance our knowledge of complex biological systems using mathematical & computational tools;
- Develop new mathematics & statistics which describe biological processes; and
- Train a new generation of researchers in mathematical & computational biology.
Just as physics has been intricately allied with mathematics for centuries, we believe that biology will be similarly allied with mathematics going forward. The Center aims to marry these disciplines by training graduate students and postdocs who are experts in mathematics and computation to effectively use their skills to provide a layered understanding of biological complexity. We also host visitors and hold workshops to foster linkages between mathematicians and biologists who embrace the natural complementarity of these disciplines.
The scientific goals of the Center are also three-fold:
- Reveal how molecular networks within individual cells orchestrate developmental decisions,
- Discover how proteins and cells self-assemble and self-organize to produce the components of living things, and
- Understand how biological systems adapt within and beyond the lifespan of individual organisms.
We extract general principles which span a broad range of timescales (from milliseconds to millions of years) and length scales (from microns to hundreds of centimeters). To do so, we study a range of experimental systems: viruses, single-celled organisms, tissues, organoids, and multi-celled animals. We build predictive, causal mathematical models that account for biological decision-making, self-organization and adaptation, linking development and evolution.