Bard Ermentrout: Lure of the Rings: Circle and Torus Flows in Biology

I will describe several types of synchronization, first with pairs of rhythm generators such as finger tapping and hand clapping. I will then describe some simple models for circadian oscillations and their entrainment. Finally, I will turn to spatial models which can create patterns like traveling waves (in one dimension) and rotating spiral waves in two-dimensions

Fred von Stein: The Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction

Dr. von Stein gave the lab on the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction.

I received my BS in Physics from Union College in 2001. I then took a biophysics job as a research scientist in the Anatomy & Physiology department at Kansas State University studying the electrophysiology of granulosa cells. From there I realized my interest in primary research and decided to pursue a PhD at Cornell University. I worked with Dr Flavio Fenton in Robert Gilmour's lab studying cardiac dynamics and electrophysiology and graduated in 2012 from the Physiology department. One of my projects involved mapping the Purkinje fiber network using X-ray CT imaging to study its structure and create realistic models for more accurate computer simulations. I am currently working at Cornell assisting other research groups using X-ray CT, a growing field with numerous applications. For more information see

My future plans are to continue assisting others with their research goals using CT imaging as a non-destructive imaging method.

Robert Gilmour: Computer Models of Cardiac Electrophysiology: What the Modelers Won’t Tell You

Creating an accurate and reliable computer model of the electrical activity of the heart is an incredibly difficult problem. Each myocyte in the heart contains dozens of ionic channels, transporters and pumps that contribute to the generation of cellular electrical activity, in the form of the cardiac action potential. Moreover, the complement of channels, transporters and pumps varies across the many different cells types present in the heart and are subject to tightly regulated neural and hormonal control. Once generated, the cardiac action potential must propagate across millions of heart cells that are arranged in a complex 3-dimensional anatomical structure. The features of that structure include multiple layers of different types of myocytes and uneven distribution of current flow via myocyte-to-myocyte connections (anisotropy), both within a given cell layer and across cell layers. The complexities in generation and propagation of the cardiac action potential in the normal heart multiply in cardiac disease states. The latter are of great interest to cardiologists, since these states most often are associated with the abnormal electrical activity that produces lethal heart rhythm disorders. However, the diversity of disease states presents yet another challenge to modelers, since the ionic alterations produced by different forms of cardiac disease differ substantially from one disease to another. In my lecture, the critical issues inherent in accurately modeling the electrical activity of the heart will be discussed (with the ultimate goal of generating a long list of questions for Dr. Fenton during his subsequent lectures!).

Last modified: Jan 24, 2013