Blegdamsvej 17, 2100 København Ø, Bygning K, Building: 07-1-Kb1
We use theoretical methods from physics to investigate complex systems and living systems, and in turn use inspirations from those systems to develop new concepts in physics models. We study phenomena in various scales, from intracellular processes, collective behaviours of cells and agents, to species competition in an ecological scale, with tools from dynamical systems, stochastic processes, and individual-based models.
We also perform experiments using bacteria and bacteriophage (viruses that infect bacteria) in our lab. The unique combination of theoretical and experimental research makes our activity truly interdisciplinary.
Primary fields of research
Bacterial Physiology and PersistenceWhen an antibiotic is applied to a large population of antibiotic-sensitive bacterial cells, a subpopulation of cells tolerant to the antibiotic almost always appear, which are called persisters. Persisters are different from antibiotic resistant cells, because the progenies of the persisters are still sensitive to the same antibiotic: persisters are caused by phenotypic heterogeneity, that reflects stochasticity in the system.
Phage-Bacteria interaction in spacePhage plaque morphology tells a lot about the phage-bacteria interaction. Through a quantitative modeling with closely related experiments, we reveal how the spatial structures are formed and how the space affects the phage-bacteria interaction. As modeling tools, we use individual based model with mechanical cell-cell interactions as well as reaction-diffusion type models.
Species competition and diversityWe use Lotoka-Volterra equations to stochastic lattice models to address how various types of species competitions affect emergence and coexistence of diversity.
Complex systems and statistical physicsWe are interested in various collective phenomena, where rich behaviors emerge from elements or agents interacting with simple rules.
- Dynamical Models in Molecular Biology (block 2)
- Diffusive and Stochastic Processes (block 4)
It is strongly recommended to take "Diffusive and Stochastic Processes" if you are interested in doing a master project in Mitalai lab. If you are interested in projects related to biological problems, the course "Dynamical Models in Molecular Biology" is also strongly recommended.