April 16, 2024

May 14-June 15, 2012
Focus Program Towards Mathematical Modeling of Neurological Disease from Cellular Perspectives

at the Fields Institute, Room 230

Organizing Committee
Larry Abbott (Columbia Univ.), Sue Ann Campbell (Univ. Waterloo),
Nancy Kopell (Boston Univ.), Frances Skinner (TWRI/UHN and Univ Toronto),
David Terman (Ohio State Univ.)

Organization for Computational Neurosciences (OCNS)

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Millions of people suffer from some form of neurological disease, and abnormalities in brain circuits and their activities are recognized as a place to focus in untangling brain disorders. Oscillations and dynamic behaviour produced by neuronal circuits are being examined in the context of several neurological diseases today. While the functional aspect of the observed dynamics is not entirely clear, it is clear that cellular aspects of circuits need to be included in these examinations as specific cell types have been associated with network dysfunction and neurological disease. A mechanistic understanding, as can be brought about by mathematical modeling and analyses, is needed to help advance our understanding of these complex neurological diseases. However, developing and analyzing models of normal and pathological dynamic activities in these complex circuits is highly challenging. This is not only because of the complexity and detail of the systems themselves, but also because of the required multi-disciplinary aspect of the work. How does one include cellular detail in mathematical models to allow linkage to experiment and neurological disease? What techniques and methods can and should be used to analyze the models? These difficult questions need to be brought to the fore to allow us to move forth in our understanding and to provide insights that would be helpful from diagnostic and drug development perspectives.

In a series of workshops we will bring together neuroscientists, mathematicians, clinicians and experimentalists to present and consider these problems from several viewpoints. Speakers in the workshops (as listed below) will present from clinical, experimental, modeling, and mathematical perspectives. Mathematical tutorial type talks will occur over the course of the workshops covering topics such as phase plane analyses, weakly coupled oscillator theory, perturbation theory, bifurcation theory, mean field analyses, and numerical tools. Each workshop will end with a "brainstorming session" for discussion, interaction and sharing of perspectives by all to try to propose, define, and/or formulate mathematical and computational problems relevant to the focus, and to identify where further models and mathematical analyses are most warranted. The workshops will be preceded by basic tutorial sessions, and additional discussion and research time will be available after the workshops

Goals for this program include: (i) encouraging trainees in mathematics, physical sciences, life sciences, and interdisciplinary studies, especially new researchers and mathematicians, to get involved in this exciting and challenging field of research, (ii) making neuroscientists more aware of the mathematical tools available to aid with the study of network models, (iii) making mathematicians more aware of the challenges involved in modeling biological networks, and (iv) initiating collaborations.

Week 1: (May 15-17)
Mathematical Neuroscience and Neurobiology Introductory Courses

As a lead-up to the workshops in the following weeks, a series of tutorials will be given. They will provide a basic background in neurobiology and mathematical neuroscience modeling. These tutorials will be mainly geared toward newcomers to the field. However, all are welcome. Registration is required but there will be no charge.(Register for Tutorials)

Weeks 2-4: Workshops

There will be limited space for posters at lunchtime on the first day of each workshop. If you wish to present a poster, please submit a title and abstract .
Registration is required with costs as given above for each workshop.

Parkinson's Disease Workshop - May 22-23, 2012
Register for Workshop

Confirmed Speakers:

Robert Chen (TWRI/UHN and Univ Toronto)
Ming Cheng (Brown Univ)
Mandar Jog (Univ Western Ontario)
Michelle McCarthy (Boston Univ)
Cameron McIntyre (Cleveland Clinic)
Rosalyn Moran (Univ College London)
Leonid Rubchinsky (Indiana Univ-Purdue Univ)
Jonathan Rubin (Univ Pittsburg)
Sridevi Sarma (Johns Hopkins Univ)
Peter Tass (Research Ctr Juelich)
Charles Wilson (Univ Texas-San Antonio)
Schizophrenia Workshop - May 24-25, 2012
Register for Workshop

Confirmed Speakers:

Alla Borisyuk (Univ Utah)
Carmen Canavier (Lousiana State Univ)
Albert Compte (IDIBAPS Spain)
Bard Ermentrout (Univ Pittsburgh)
Nancy Kopell (Boston Univ)
Evelyn Lambe (Univ Toronto)
David Lewis (Univ Pittsburgh)
John Lisman (Brandeis Univ)
William Lytton (SUNY Downstate Med Ctr)
Edmund Rolls (Oxford Univ)
Epilepsy Workshop - May 29-30, 2012
Register for Workshop

Confirmed Speakers:
Sydney Cash (Harvard Univ and Mass General)
Peter Carlen (TWRI/UHN and Univ Toronto)
Rob Clewley (Georgia State Univ)
Alain Destexhe (UNIC/CNRS France)
Mark Kramer (Boston Univ)
Josh Lawrence (Univ Montana)
Tim Lewis (Univ California- Davis)
Erin Munro (RIKEN, Tokyo)
Steven Schiff (Penn State University)
Ivan Soltesz (Univ California- Irvine)
Roger Traub (IBM TJ Watson Ctr and Columbia Univ)

Alzheimer's Disease/Pharmaceuticals Workshop - May 31-June 1, 2012
Register for Workshop
Confirmed Speakers:
Vassilis Cutsuridis (King's College, London)
Barry Greenberg (TWRI/UHN)
Mike Hasselmo (Boston Univ)
Hinke Osinga (Univ Auckland)
Patrick Roberts (Oregon Health and Sciences Univ)
Horacio Rotstein (New Jersey Inst Tech)
Peter St. George-Hyslop (Univ Toronto and Univ Cambridge)
Kaori Takehara-Nishiuchi (Univ Toronto)
Sylvain Williams (Douglas Inst and McGill Univ)
Anesthesiology/Sleep Disorders Workshop - June 4-5, 2012
Register for Workshop
Confirmed Speakers:
Maxim Bazhenov (Univ California- Riverside)
Victoria Booth (Univ Michigan)
ShiNung Ching (Boston Univ)
Jeffrey Ellenbogen (Harvard Univ)
Sean Hill (Karolinska Inst)
Richard Horner (Univ Toronto)
Stanley Leung (Univ Western Ontario)
Beverly Orser (Univ Toronto)
Patrick L. Purdon (Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School)
Igor Timofeev (Univ Laval)
Martin Wechselberger (Univ Sydney)

Discussion and Working Groups as related to the Thematic Focus Program.
All Thematic Focus Program participants are welcome!

Thursday, June 7 - Fields Room 210, 10:30
Large network simulations - models and mechanisms

Monday, June 11 - Fields Library, 10:30
Workshop Fallout - expected and unexpected issues

Thursday, June 14 - Fields Library, 10:30
Disease Insights from Models

Please feel free to contact Frances Skinner (frances.skinner<at> if you have any particular suggestions. No registration is required.

Program Visitors

All scientific events are open to the mathematical sciences community. Visitors who are interested in office space or funding are requested to apply by filling out the application form (open in 2012). Fields scientific programs are devoted to research in the mathematical sciences, and enhanced graduate and post-doctoral training opportunities. Part of the mandate of the Institute is to broaden and enlarge the community, and to encourage the participation of women and members of visible minority groups in our scientific programs.

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