First Announcement

Biomathematics Euro Summer School
Dynamical Systems in Physiology and Medicine

Urbino, Italy, July 8-19, 2002

The European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology (ESMTB) is happy to announce a Biomathematics Euro Summer School to be held in Urbino (Italy) July 8-19, 2002.

Dynamical systems constitute a fundamental mathematical and computational framework within which many processes in biomedicine can be described. From tumor growth to hormonal regulation, from the spread of disease to neuronal transmission, the crucial feature of many biological and natural phenomena is their evolution in time. The purpose of the school is to present some fields of application of mathematical modeling of dynamical systems to physiology and medicine, and concurrently to give a presentation of some of the mathematical techniques used in such modeling.

The school will offer five courses centered on the biological background and on the mathematical modeling of relevant biomedical phenomena: the spread of cardiac electrical excitation, with the possible study of arrhytmias; the physiology of blood flow in the pulmonary circulation; the system controlling glucose blood levels by means of the hormone insulin; the activity and synchronization of neurons; the mechanism of production of blood cells with attendant regulations and possible derangements. A workshop on current status and clinical usefulness of mathematical models of the glucose-insulin system, attended by international experts in the field, will complement the courses.

Differential equations, with or without delay, are the natural mathematical tool for the study of dynamical systems. Computationally intensive techniques have also enjoyed increasing recognition, in the wake of the more widespread availability of cheap computing power. The school will therefore also offer two methodological courses, respectively on Delay Differential Equations and on Numerical Methods.

The School is addressed to doctoral students in mathematics or allied disciplines (engineering, physics, statistics) looking for exposure to medical problems, and to young biologists and physicians intending to employ mathematical tools in their research.

The school will be organized along the seven main courses, together with a workshop, invited lectures and participant lectures. Teaching units (lectures by instructors and invited speakers) will be 40' each including 5' questions and discussion, separated by substantial intervals. Lectures by participants (20') will be arranged in couples and follow the same schema. Main courses and workshop will be plenary, while invited talks and student presentations will be split into two parallel sessions. Participants will be given ample opportunity to interact with instructors during and after hours, as well as completing didactic projects in groups of mixed extraction.

Financial support is available for participants.

Courses (coordinators) (Number of units)

  1. Periodic haematological diseases and leukemia (Jacques Belair) (10 units)
  2. Modelling and cellular automata in the study of cardiac arrhythmias and ventricular fibrillation (Alain Bardou) (8 units)
  3. Modelling Pulmonary Vascular Pressures (George Cremona) (8 units)
  4. Models for the Glucose-Insulin system (Andrea De Gaetano, Andrea Mari) (12 units)
  5. Neuronal modeling (Khashayar Pakdaman) (10 units)
  6. Delay Differential Equations (Edoardo Beretta) (14 units)
  7. Numerical methods (Rodolfo Bermejo) (10 units)

Organizing Committee
Ovide Arino, Edoardo Beretta, Andrea De Gaetano (Managing Director), Simona Panunzi and Fortunata Solimano.

The official language of the school is English

Conference Schedule
The school will be conducted during two working weeks, Monday July 8th through Friday July 19th, including the morning of the intervening Saturday, for a total of 95 teaching units (including courses, invited talks and participant presentations). Each day there will be 9 lecture units of 40 min by the staff and by invited speakers, as well as participant presentations of 20 min each. Accommodations and meals will be provided from Sunday, July 7th, afternoon, through Saturday, July 20th, morning.

Location and Infrastructure
The school will be held entirely within the hilltop campus "Collegio del Colle" ("College-on-the-Hill") of the University of Urbino, in Central Italy.

The "Collegio del Colle" offers an ideal combination of living quarters, lecture halls and ancillary services (restaurant, coffee breaks, telephones, Internet connections, photocopying) distributed on a green hilltop within a single walled enclosure.

The beautiful medieval town of Urbino is about ten minutes walking distance from the school venue, sufficiently close for an easy after dinner stroll. The more commercial Pesaro on the Adriatic shore may be reached by bus or car.

Urbino is served by rail (Pesaro Station), Bus and Plane (Ancona, Bologna or Rome Fiumicino airports then train). Bus shuttle service will be available between Pesaro Railway Station and the school venue, with a clearly visible welcome desk at the station.

If you are interested in coming to the school, please fill in the contact form on the School's web page and you will be kept up-to-date with all developments.