Although new experimental technology is partly responsible for the current revolution in biological research, theoretical models developed by physicists are also playing an important role in changing the way biological research is being performed. The number of theoretical physicists and applied mathematicians migrating into biology has dramatically increased throughout the world, but South America still lags behind.
The one-week school on mathematical models on evolution, co-organized with the ICTP-SAIFR, UNESP, FAPESP and IFT-UNESP, will feature lectures by physicists and applied biologists who have made important contributions to this area of biological research. The school is intended for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the physical and biological sciences.
This activity will be preceded by the ‘VIII Southern-Summer School on Mathematical Biology’. Candidates may apply either for one or both schools, and preference will be given to PhD students in South America. There is no registration fee and limited funds are available for travel and local expenses.
Lecturers and courses:
Population genetics and evolution – Luca Peliti (SMRI, Italy)
Understanding how genetic information is transmitted across generations is at the basis of evolutionary theory. This course will review the mechanisms of reproduction, selection, mutation and drift and will be the backbone for the more specific courses below.
Evolution of individuality – Paul Rainey (IAS – Massey University, New Zeland)
The origins of multicellularity and cell differentiation are profound problems in biology. Overview of theory and recent experiments.
The evolution of immune systems – Curtis Callan (Princeton University, USA)
The immune system has the ability to respond to arbitrary pathogens. Using samples from mice it has been possible to track the evolution of the immune system from embryo to adult, revealing surprising differences between species.
Ecology and evolution of viruses – Joshua Weitz (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
Viruses shape the fate of cells, populations, and ecosystems. These lectures will provide an overview of the nonlinear dynamics of viruses and their microbial hosts, including theory, models, and evidence for the joint influence of population and evolutionary dynamics.