Cole Zmurchok

PhD Candidate
UBC Mathematics

Mathematical Biology


The interplay between mechanics and Rho-family GTPase signalling

As cells change shape, migrate individually or collectively, they experience forces from their environment and neighbours. These forces are translated into chemical signals that regulate GTPase signalling, thus providing a feedback mechanism. Using ODE and cell-based models, we explore the implications on feedback from tension to GTPase activity on the behaviour of a multicellular group.


Quasi-steady-state reduction of models of intracellular transport

We apply QSS methods to study the behaviour of reaction-advection-diffusion models for intracellular transport. The QSS reduction describes how molecular events and model parameters can affect the transport process.


Modelling collective cell migration

In the zebrafish embryo, a group of about 100 cells (the posterior lateral line primordium, PLLP) migrates from head to tail. We model the process from the initial polarization to the migration, and determine how tissue polarity could arise. We use a 3D deformable-ellipsoid cell-based simulation to model migration.

  • Knutsdottir H, Zmurchok C*, Bhaskar D, Palsson E, Dalle Nogare D, et al. (2017) Polarization and migration in the zebrafish posterior lateral line system. PLOS Computational Biology 13(4): e1005451


Direction-depdendent communication mechanisms in collective behaviour

Direction-dependent communication, such as sight and sound, is implicated in the formation of groups of individuals. Using a variety of communication mechanisms, we use a simple 1D model to study the behaviour of a swarm, school, or flock, and discover a variety of spatial patterns.