We are in a remarkable era, both
in terms of the incredible scientific innovations and
progress that are being made, and in terms of the interaction
and communication between scientists of traditionally
very disparate and distinct disciplines.
One of the unifying themes of mathematical
modeling and experimental research in Medicine and the
Life Sciences is the elucidation of the underlying biological
processes that result in a particular observed phenomenon.
Even in the rare cases where the mechanisms are well understood,
mathematics is still crucial to explore the consequences
of changing various parameters with, for example, a particular
treatment strategy - in the case of cancer growth and
angiogenesis (with its relation to possible cancer therapy),
the number of options rapidly becoming available to practicing
oncologists will be overwhelming unless we find a mathematical
approach to simulate particular treatment protocols before
applying them in practice.
Throughout mathematics, the right
sort of problems provide the challenge that lead to the
improvement of techniques and development of new methods.
This has certainly been true in the case of Mathematics
in the Medical Sciences and it is a field that has seen
rapid expansion in recent years.. The range of problems
tackled now is wide and the literature vast. However,
the recent development of many of these areas of "mathematical
medicine" has meant that little has filtered through
to the senior undergraduate and graduate level curricula.
Thus, the role of the Centre will be to develop into a
hub (or focus) of a Canada-wide network - to both disseminate
knowledge through undergraduate/graduate level courses,
seminars, as well as to periodically bring together mathematicians
and physicians/medical researchers, to provide "state
of the art" summaries in particular fields in addition
to identifying possible areas of collaborative research.