University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Applied Mathematics Seminar Series > Mathematical descriptions of molecular spatio-temporal organisation during T cell signalling

Mathematical descriptions of molecular spatio-temporal organisation during T cell signalling

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T cells, white blood cells of the immune system, attempt to detect foreign pathogens and activate accordingly, while seeking to avoid activating in response to the body’s own cells. While most of the signalling proteins involved are known, it is the nanoscale spatio-temporal organisation of those proteins which is thought to provide regulation of this important immune response. Recently, single-molecule localisation fluorescence microscopy has allowed the coordinates of signalling molecules to be mapped with nanometre precision. These are spatial point patterns, rather than pixelated images usually encountered in microscopy. Open mathematical questions remain for the field including the information content of such patterns and how best to define spatial and temporal resolution. Here, we develop mathematical descriptions for protein organisation in T cells from such data including cluster analysis, fibre-tracing, co-localisation, co-clustering and live-cell dynamic analysis. We are attempting to develop systems biology approaches to establish the causes and function of molecular clustering which is now thought to digitise signalling and set activation thresholds and levels and to establish links between nanoscale mathematical descriptions and macroscale cellular behaviour.

This talk is part of the Applied Mathematics Seminar Series series.

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