Research Programs


Mathematical Biology

03 September - 14 December 2018

Biology is rapidly developing from a primarily descriptive science to a predictive science like physics or chemistry. This has been made possible by new experimental techniques that are able to quantify biological mechanisms at an unprecedented scale and level of detail. These techniques are producing enormous amounts of data, including full genetic and metabolic maps of organisms, and quantitative microscopy data that follow the locations of individual cells in organisms, and the locations and activities of genes and enzymes in individual cells.

This development of biology as a quantitative science has led to a recent revival in the application of mathematics in biology. The program “Mathematical Biology” will be structured along biological levels of organization.

Starting at the organismal level in September, we will move towards studies of collective behaviour in October and work on population dynamics in November. In December the insights gained in the first three months will be integrated in the study of cancer, whose mathematical modelling requires insights into morphogenesis, collective behaviour, population dynamics and evolution. Within each month, mathematical approaches will be diverse, ranging from dynamical systems theory to probabilistic modelling.  Thus the proposed structure will maximize the integration of the field of mathematical biology from a mathematical perspective.

The Mathematical Biology program at Institut Mittag-Leffler is one of the activities during the Year of Mathematical Biology 2018, which is a joint venture of the European Mathematical Society (EMS) and the European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology (ESMTB).


Mats Gyllenberg
University of Helsinki
Torbjörn Lundh
Chalmers/University of Gothenburg
Philip Maini
University of Oxford
Roeland Merks
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI)
Mathisca de Gunst
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Roeland Merks


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