Project Idea: Mathematical model of autophagy activation pathway – Eric Yang [Jalil]

Autophagy is a highly orchestrated degradative process that sequesters and degrades damaged or excess organelles in response to internal and external stress including starvation, oxygen limitation, microbial invasion and hormonal stimulation. The understanding of biochemical pathway of autophagy is important in determining the fate of cells that respond to stress including the challenge of chemotherapeutic agents. This project will build a mathematical model for the activation of autophagy by nutrient deprivation (low concentration of amino acids) with feedback loop when the amino acids generated by protein degradation increases the amino acid pool. I am especially interested in how the amino acid level affects the activation of autophagy and how the feedback parameter (due to autophagic degradation of protein) influences the concentration of total amino acid.


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