Applied Math Seminar

Virtual-Tissue Computer Simulations of Development, Homeostasis and Disease

Speaker: James Glazier, Indiana University

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 1302

Date: Friday, March 3, 2023, 2:30 p.m.


Modern molecular biology provides an extraordinary ability to quantify cells’ molecular states.
However, the difficulty of predicting the emergent behavior of tissues from cells’ molecular signatures 
limits our ability to integrate molecular and genetic information to make meaningful predictions at the 
organ or organism level. Virtual Tissues are an approach to constructing quantitative, predictive 
mechanistic models starting from cell behaviors. For the past 15 years, we have been developing
the open-source Virtual-Tissue model specification and execution framework CompuCell3D
( which aims to make Virtual-Tissue modeling more accessible. Virtual Tissue 
models help bridge the gap between molecule and physiological outcome. I will illustrate these 
approaches in: 1) Modeling in-host viral infection and immune response in epithelial tissues. 
2) the development of blood vessels and its effect on age-related blindness, 
3) the disorganization of normal tubular structure in Polycystic Kidney Disease, and 
4) toxin-induced damage in the liver. 
These examples illustrate both the potential and limitations of these approaches and suggest where 
we still need to improve our scientific understanding and our ability to measure and control living systems.