Addressing Interdisciplinary Difficulties in Developmental Biology/Mathematical Collaborations: A Neural Crest Example

  • Donald F. NewgreenEmail author
  • Kerry A. Landman
  • James M. Osborne
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1976)


Mathematical modeling can allow insight into the biological processes that can be difficult to access by conventional biological means alone. Such projects are becoming increasingly attractive with the appearance of faster and more powerful quantitative techniques in both biological data acquisition and data storage, manipulation, and presentation. However, as is frequent in interdisciplinary research, the main hurdles are not within the mindset and techniques of each discipline but are usually encountered in attempting to meld the different disciplines together. Based upon our experience in applying mathematical methods to investigate how neural crest cells interact to form the enteric nervous system, we present our views on how to pursue biomathematical modeling projects, what difficulties to expect, and how to overcome, or at least survive, these hurdles. The main advice being: persevere.

Key words

Mathematical model Computational model Systems biology Collaboration Morphogenesis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald F. Newgreen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kerry A. Landman
    • 2
  • James M. Osborne
    • 2
  1. 1.Murdoch Children’s Research InstituteRoyal Children’s HospitalParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.School of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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