Mathematical Biology Seminar

Tom Chou
Department of Biomathematics, and Department of Mathematics, UCLA
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
3:05pm in LCB 215
Stochastic Problems of Biophysics & Biophysicists

Abstract: In this talk, two different applications of stochastic processes in biophysics will be presented. The first will be the development, analysis, and simulation of a simple one-dimensional model for track-induced molecular motion. In contrast to molecular motors that invoke a molecular conformational change to power their biased motion, examples of track-propelled motion arise in biophysics. Our simple model describes track-propelled motion in terms of asymmetric nucleation of hydrolysis waves by coupling motion of a load particle to moving domain walls. We use asymptotic analysis in a moving frame to compute the dependence of the motor velocity as a function of local hydrolysis rates and find a maximum velocity at intermediate nucleation asymmetries. The second part of this talk will describe ongoing efforts in stochastic inverse problems commonly encountered in biophysics. We will discuss the mathematical difficulties associated with the reconstruction of parameters in diffusive processes from first passage time distribution measurements.