The Kitting out a Computational and Mathematical Toolbox for Cancer Research

Professor Kevin Naidoo will present the Department of Mathematics & Applied Mathematics colloquium with a talk entitled, "The Kitting out a Computational and Mathematical Toolbox for Cancer Research".  

The commonly held reductionist view that the biological world can be described in terms of physics and chemistry using mathematical constructs was at its height following the discovery of the structure of DNA. Since then it has lost much ground, mostly due to the recognition that the genome of complex organisms are not able to account for many functions by a linear gene-to-function mapping. It has therefore become evident, that the simple notion, that all can be described once the genome has been mapped is an oversimplification of the functioning complex organisms. A key turning point in molecular science has been the confluence
of the physics, chemistry and biology that provide a rational approach to the understanding of cellular systems. However, because of experimental limitations, computer experiments have become a necessary part of the scientific method as practiced in chemical biology. I will describe the relation between mathematics, computer science and the domain sciences principally chemistry
and biology in what has become known as Computational Science or Scientific Computing.

Here at UCT researchers at the Scientific Computing Research Unit (SCRU) develop algorithms that allow for accurate and high-speed computational chemistry, biophysics computer experiments and big data analytics. These experiments are increasingly providing mechanistic evidence for the molecular description of human health. In a focus on biomedical science applications I will describe how elements of mathematics and computer science are being used to develop computational and data analytics tools that show promise as clinical instruments for cancer diagnoses and treatment .

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 16:15

M304, Mathematics Building, University Avenue, Upper Campus, UCT