We propose to hold a workshop on mathematical modelling of biological tissues, inviting key national and international leaders to interact with local researchers and ECRs. The workshop is arranged to coincide with the MATRIX Month of Mathematical Biology program and the 2018 meeting of the Society of Mathematical Biology.

As experimental techniques in biomedicine continue to advance in sophistication, new datasets spanning bio-visualisation to detailed cellular and molecular information are being generated at an accelerating rate. Tools to analyse these data are however lagging behind. At the same time, computational power is becoming ever cheaper. This has led to the increased adoption of computational models of multicellular tissues and organs, where cells are considered as discrete interacting entities. Such models represent interactions between individual cells with each other and the microenvironment explicitly, and allows detailed representation of subcellular processes. The model contains explicit representations of the spatial (i.e. cellular level) and temporal scales where data is commonly collected, and facilitates data integration. To expedite such data integration and model simulation, state-of-the-art mathematical, numerical and computational analyses are required. A significant challenge in the field is that there are many different ways to construct models of this type, and as a result, it’s very difficult to compare them and/or establish what behaviours are generic and what behaviours are specific to a particular model representation.

This workshop will bring together world-leading mathematical modellers, systems biologists experimentalists, and clinicians to discuss the future of multicellular modelling in biology and its application to drug discovery and improved therapies. A set of ‘grand challenges’ for the future use of multicellular modelling will be defined and investigated through a four-day modelling workshop and three-day coding hackathon. This will promote multicellular modelling approaches, especially those being developed and applied in Australia, as an important and growing field of scientific research.

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