Professor of Biomathematics, Florida State
University, Fall 2009-present
- Graduate Faculty Member, Molecular Biophysics Program,
Florida State University, Fall 2001-present
Graduate Faculty Member, Neuroscience Program,
Florida State University, Summer 2005-present
Associate Professor of Biomedical Mathematics, Florida State
University, Fall 2004-Summer 2009
- Assistant Professor of
Biomedical Mathematics, Florida State University,
Fall 2001-Summer 2004
- Assistant Scientist, Institute of Molecular Biophysics,
Florida State University, 1999-2001
- Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Penn
State Erie, 1996-1999
- Post-Doctoral Research Fellow,
Mathematical Research Branch, NIDDK, NIH, 1993-1996
- NIH DK 080714: Four-year award for
"Microfluidic Devices for Determining Dynamics of Islets of Langerhans",
Mike Roper (PI), Richard Bertram, 2013-2017.
- NSF DMS 1220063: Three-year award for
"Mathematical Analysis of Electrical Oscillations in Anterior Pituitary Cells",
Richard Bertram (PI), Joel Tabak, Arturo Gonzalez-Iglesias, 2012-2015.
- NSF ICS 1146607: Two-year award for
"Spatial Organization of a Neural Network For Serial-Order Behavior",
Frank Johnson (PI), Richard Bertram, Rick Hyson, Wei Wu, 2012-2014.
- NIH DK 043200: Five-year award for
"Regulation of Prolactin Secretion at the Lactotroph", Richard
Bertram, Arturo Gonzalez-Iglesias, Joel Tabak(PIs),
- Member of the Modeling and Analysis of Biological Systems (MABS)
Study Section, NIH (beginning July 1, 2010).
- Editorial Board member and Reviews Editor, Mathematical Biosciences (since 2008).
- Editorial Board member, Islets (since 2008).
- Editorial Board member, Biophysical Journal (since 2010).
Assignments & Tests
Current Research Interests
Activity of Pancreatic Beta-Cells
Pancreatic Beta-cells are the only cells in the body that
secrete insulin, a hormone that is necessary for the uptake of glucose
by other cells. Defects in beta-cell functioning lead to diabetes, which
can result in death if not treated. The release of insulin is controlled
by many physiological variables, including the cell's electrical activity,
calcium, and nucleotide concentrations. I work in the development and
analysis of mathematical models of beta-cell activity. This work is done in
Artie Sherman at the
National Institues of Health and
Les Satin at the University of Michigan
Hypothalamic Control of Hormone Secretion
The hypothalamus is the region of the brain that regulates the level and
timing of hormone release from endocrine glands. One such gland, the pituitary,
is located near the hypothalamus, and secretions from this gland regulate
secretions from other glands. For this reason, the pituitary is sometimes called
the "master gland". The hypothalamus sends both stimulatory and inhibitory
input to the pituitary, resulting in neural regulation of secretion from
gonadotrophs, somatotrophs, corticotrophs, melanotrophs, and lactotrophs.
I collaborate with Marc Freeman, Joel Tabak, Arturo Gonzalez-Iglesias,
and Maurizio Tomaiuolo (all at FSU) in the development and testing of
mathematical models to help understand the complex cellular and network
interactions involved in the secretion of prolactin from pituitary lactotrophs.
Prolactin has many roles in the body, including milk production in the mammary
Bursting Oscillations in Excitable Cells
In nerve cells, information is transmitted through electrical impulses.
Electrical impulses also cause muscles to contract and endocrine cells
to secrete hormones. Quite often, impulses are generated as high-frequency
bursts, followed by periods of quiescence. This is particularly true in
endocrine cells such as pancreatic beta-cells. I am interested both in the
dynamics of bursting (a mathematical topic) and in the mechanisms by which
different cells generate periodic bursts of impulses (a biological topic).
Synaptic Transmitter Release and Short-Term Plasticity
Information is processed and transmitted in nerve cells by electrical
impulses. These impulses are passed from one nerve cell to the next through
a process called synaptic transmission. In the presynaptic cell, an impulse
evokes the release of one or more chemical neurotransmitters. These
transmitters diffuse to the postsynaptic cell and bind to transmitter
receptors, resulting in a postsynaptic voltage change. I am working on
the development of mathematical models that describe certain aspects of
this process, incorporating much of the known biophysical data. The
goal is to better understand transmitter release and the mechanisms
behind the enhancement or depression of release, i.e., synaptic
plasticity. My most recent work is done in collaboration with
done in collaboration with
Artie Sherman and
Neural Network Controlling Bird Songs
This project is done in collaboration with
Wei Wu, and
Song birds have a dedicated region of the brain to produce songs.
We are studying the neural mechanisms through which the song is produced in the
male zebra finch, which is analogous to human speach production. We study neural
electrical activity, and features of the song that is produced. We are also
developing computational models for the neural activity and connectivity that
can produce the sequential behavior that results in the stereotyped song of the
male zebra finch.
Hypothalamic Control of Hormone
Students and Collaborators
Workshops and Conferences
Dr. Richard Bertram
Department of Mathematics (or
Institute of Molecular Biophysics)
Florida State University
Tallahassee, Fl 32306
tel.: (850)-644-7195 (math office), (850)-644-7632 (IMB office)