Cells make fate decisions in response to dynamic environmental and pathological stimuli as well as cell-to-cell communications. Recent technological breakthroughs have enabled to gather data in previously unthinkable quantities at single cell level, starting to suggest that cell fate decision is much more complex, dynamic, and stochastic than previously recognized. Multiscale interactions, sometimes through cell-cell communications, play a critical role in cell decision-making. Dissecting cellular dynamics emerging from molecular and genomic scale in single-cell demands novel computational tools and multiscale models. In this talk, I will present our recent works on analyzing single-cell molecular data, and their connections with cellular and spatial tissue dynamics. Our mathematical approaches bring together optimization, statistical physics, ODEs/PDEs, and stochastic simulations along with machine learning techniques. By utilizing our newly developed computational tools along with their close integrations with new datasets collected from our experimental collaborators, we are able to investigate several complex systems during development and regeneration to uncover new mechanisms in cell fate determination.
Dr. Qing Nie is a Chancellor’s Professor of Mathematics, Developmental and Cell Biology, and Biomedical Engineering at University of California, Irvine. Dr. Nie is the director of the new NSF-Simons Center for Multiscale Cell Fate Research jointly funded by NSF and the Simons Foundation – one of the four national centers on mathematics of complex biological systems. In research, he uses systems biology and data-driven methods to study complex biological systems with focuses on single-cell analysis, multiscale modeling, cellular plasticity, stem cells, embryonic development, and their applications to diseases. Dr. Nie has published more than 130 research articles and served in many NIH and NSF review panels, maintaining a well-funded interdisciplinary research program. In training, Dr. Nie has supervised more than 40 postdoctoral fellows and PhD students, with many of them working in academic institutions. Dr. Nie is a fellow of the America Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellow of American Physical Society.