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Research Seminars: Probability and Statistics


Fall  2016

Time & Location: All talks are on Wednesdays in Gibson 310 at 3:00 PM unless otherwise noted.
Organizer: Gustavo Didier

 

September 14

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September 21

Antibody-mediated immobilization of virions in mucus

Melanie JensenTulane University

Abstract:

In recent years, particle tracking experiments have provided new insights into interactions between our immune system and foreign bodies like viruses and bacteria. Sam Lai (UNC-Chapel Hill, Pharmacy) and collaborators have demonstrated that certain types of antibodies have the capacity to essentially immobilize Herpes virus in mucus and it is believed that a similar effect will be true for HIV. Because antibodies are too small to be directly observed in these experiments, the physical mechanism underlying this effect remains unclear. Using particle tracking data for Herpes virions, we construct a multi-scale model for virion movement and virion-antibody-mucin reaction kinetics to investigate the impact of varying antibody concentrations on virion movement.

First, we develop a classification system for path data to distinguish among diffusive, subdiffusive, and stationary motions. We use a continuous-time Markov model to describe virion-antibody-mucin kinetics and introduce a multi-scale approximation to compute important properties of the system that help us predict what fraction of a virion population should be immobilized at a given time, and how long a virion's immobilization should last.  To specify our model with the data, we use identifiability analysis to set mathematically optimal and biological feasible parameter values. Finally, we compare theoretical immobilization times with observed immobilization times to determine whether prominent qualitative features of the data are predicted by our linear stochastic model.


September 28

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Lukasz SikoraTulane University

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October 5

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John FricksArizona State University

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October 12

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October 19

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Veronica CiocanelBrown University

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October 26

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Mathematics Department, 424 Gibson Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5727 math@math.tulane.edu