Jacky Snoep, PhDMechanistic modelling of disease states; how far can we push laboratory models to help us understand diseases?
Wednesday 30 May, 19:00, AIMS Main Lecture Hall
Abstract: Many diseases lead to a dramatic change in the metabolism of a patient. This can be due to a fast metabolism of an infectious agent (e.g. leading to hypoglycemia and lactic acidosis in severe malaria patients), or due to a mutation of normal cells (e.g. leading to fast growth and metabolism of cancer cells), or even be caused by a certain life style (e.g. decreased insulin sensitivity in type II diabetes patients). In my lecture, I will illustrate how we use our current knowledge of the underlying mechanism of diseases to build mechanistic mathematical models that are parameterised on experimental data. Subsequently, these models are validated using independent experiments, and then extended to disease states in patients by merging the models with coarse-grained whole body models. The aim is to increase our understanding of the metabolic (side-) effects caused by the disease, and point at possible intervention steps.
About: Prof Jacky Snoep is a biochemist at Stellenbosch University, where he works on the SACEMA - SARCHI project - "Mechanistic modelling of health and epidemiology". He holds part-time positions at the Vrije University in Amsterdam and at the University of Manchester. Finding out how things work is his main drive for doing research, and he uses experimental, modelling and mathematical tools, to come to a quantitative, mechanistic understanding of cellular (dys-)function.