Florida State University Seal

Nick Cogan


Speaker: Nick Cogan
Title: Mathematical Studies of Biofilm Dynamics and Other Related Topics
Affiliation: Florida State University
Date: Friday, November 20, 2015
Place and Time: Room 101, Love Building, 3:35-4:30 pm
Refreshments: Room 204, Love Building, 3:00 pm

Abstract. Bacterial biofilms are populations of bacteria that organize themselves into structured communities by producing polymeric substances that, along with other bacterial products, form a hydrogel. This structured community allows the bacteria to remain in nutrient rich environments, evade host immune challenges, tolerate antimicrobial attacks, and communicate efficently with their bacterial neighbors. It has become increasingly apparent in the past 20 years that the majority of bacteria found outside the laboratory are found in biofilms. Additionally, biofilms are the cause a wide variety of recalcitrant diseases such as chronic pneumonia and osteomyelitis in humans and Pierces' disease in grape vines.

Just as the biological settings are varied, so are the mathematical approaches that I use. I rely on analytic methods, numerical simulations, optimal control, sensitivity and comparisons to data. This work was done with the help of several collaborators (experimental and mathematical) and graduate students - it is not possible to organize all of the threads into one talk. Rather, I will describe the general modeling framework that I have used to study biofilm dynamics, models of several specific biofilm diseases, and the results of the mathematical analysis that seem to me to be the most far reaching and useful for either the mathematics community, the biological community, or (happily on occasion) both.