Multiscale modelling and mathematical methods for brain development, trauma, and diseases

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Mathematical Institute

Abstract

The human brain is an organ of extreme complexity, the object of ultimate intellectual egocentrism, and a source of endless scientific challenges. At the basic functional level, the goal of many scientific enquiries is to understand the functions that result from the interaction of about 86 billion neurons with 100 trillion connections. From this perspective, the problem consists of connecting the biochemical and electrophysiological behavior of brain cells with the overall behavior of networks of connected cells. The ultimate goal is to translate the resulting macroscopic electrophysiological behavior into the functional dimension where direct relations can be established with neuronal response and, ultimately, behavior.

Despite an overwhelming interest and major research initiatives on how our brain operates, comparatively little is known about how the brain functions at the physical and mechanical levels. Recent findings have directly linked major brain development, mechanisms, and diseases to the mechanical response of the brain both at the cellular and tissue levels. Various factors contribute to this poor state of knowledge. First, the brain is a fully enclosed organ that is particularly difficult to probe physically. Second, viewed as a solid, it is extremely soft and its mechanical response is heavily influenced by a fluid phase and multiple charged molecules found in its cells and in the extracellular matrix. A holistic mathematical analysis requires a fully coupled multi-field theory, which needs to be calibrated and validated experimentally. Further, most brain pathologies depend on many different factors and their physical manifestation may be conveniently ignored by focusing on genetics and cellular function as the primary driver. Nonetheless, the last decade has seen fundamental advances in different areas of brain mechanics and has revealed that one of the reasons that brain mechanics is particularly exciting is that it involves extreme scales: the extremely soft scale associated with neurosurgery; the extremely hard scale associated with the skull; the extremely slow scale associated with brain development and, the extremely fast scale associated with traumatic brain injury; the extremely small scales of protein aggregation within axons leading to cell death and the relatively extremely large scale of the brain itself where neuro-degeneratives processes take place. A mathematical theory needs to reconcile all these different scales within a unified theory.

The objective of the proposed research is to develop the mathematical theory and tools to approach many questions related to brain mechanics. It will use the basic physical principles underlying brain function to address a number of problems and challenges appearing in normal and pathological situations. At the mathematical level, it requires the coupling of solid, fluid, electrochemical, and electromechanical components together with a theory of growth and remodelling. My aim is to build a general multiscale theoretical framework of brain mechanics linking molecular, cellular, tissue, and organ scales. Using these theories, I will tackle a number of fundamental questions in situations and pathologies where mechanics play a key role and where modeling can improve our understanding and predicting capabilities. These include brain development, brain folding, skull growth, brain surgery, traumatic brain injury, brain swelling, and neuro-degenerative diseases.

Planned Impact

The proposed research links mathematics to the brain. It will be carried out in close collaboration with biologists and medical scientists who will benefit from the theoretical advances. Outside academia, there are three main groups that will benefit from my research.

1. Clinical beneficiaries: A key group of beneficiaries are clinicians who work in neurosciences, emergency wards, and intensive care units. The proposed research has the potential to both motivate new important directions of research but also increase the clinician's understanding of the complex mechanisms that take place during and after trauma. The theoretical and computational framework will also provide insight into different strategies for surgeries and can be used to help decision on surgical intervention (e.g. for decompressive craniectomies).

2. Industrial beneficiaries: There are many aspects of healthcare technologies related to neurosciences of direct relevance to this proposal including the design of new helmets, the development of robotic surgical assistant, new cranial implants, and cranioplasties among others. A full mathematical theory of brain mechanics will provide a rational basis for many emerging technologies and will pave the way to new innovative products.

3. The public at large: In my interaction with the public, I have found that there is a remarkable interest in the application of mathematics to the brain. Previous research has appeared in popular science media and the news media at large. This research has the advantage of bringing to the general attention the societal challenges that are associated with the brain (traumatic brain injury, dementia, developmental abnormalities) but also the wide applicability of mathematics to real-life problems. During the fellowship, I will deliver public lectures, work with various scientific news organisations, and develop innovative ways to convey the power and beauty of mathematics through its applications to brain mechanics.

My triple goal is to bring new exciting problems to the mathematical community, promote science and mathematics through outreach activities around brain research, and develop new mathematical methods to answer key questions in brain development, function, and ageing.

Publications

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Alawiye H (2019) Revisiting the wrinkling of elastic bilayers I: linear analysis. in Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

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Alawiye H (2020) Revisiting the wrinkling of elastic bilayers II: Post-bifurcation analysis in Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids

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Alexandersen CG (2023) A multi-scale model explains oscillatory slowing and neuronal hyperactivity in Alzheimer's disease. in Journal of the Royal Society, Interface

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Ambrosi D (2019) Growth and remodelling of living tissues: perspectives, challenges and opportunities. in Journal of the Royal Society, Interface

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Angela Mihai L (2020) A pseudo-anelastic model for stress softening in liquid crystal elastomers. in Proceedings. Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences

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Balbi V (2020) Mechanics of human brain organoids. in Physical review. E

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Beers D (2023) Barcodes distinguishing morphology of neuronal tauopathy in Physical Review Research

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Bellino L (2023) Cooperative melting in double-stranded peptide chains through local mechanical interactions. in Journal of the Royal Society, Interface

 
Description We develop the first full organ model of neurodegenerative spreading in the brain. This model predicts how the human brain is systematically invaded and infected by diseases such as Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's diseases. It also predicts the brain atrophy that takes place during the disease evolution. Our model explains both the shift in alpha-frequency and the early hyperactivation observed in electro-encephalogram and provides a general in-silico platform to test the effects of new drugs.
Exploitation Route These findings are now being used and refined by looking at the evolution of diseases on networks. Multiple groups around the world have used our results and we are partnering with Roche to study the data coming of their new trial.
Sectors Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL https://physics.aps.org/articles/v11/104
 
Description Mobility has emerged as an indicator for human activity and, implicitly, for human interactions. Here, I will study the coupling between mobility and COVID-19 dynamics and show that variations in global air traffic and local driving mobility can be used to stratify different disease phases. I will show how local mobility can serve as a quantitative metric to estimate future reproduction numbers and identify the stages of the pandemic when mobility and reproduction become decorrelated. Moreover, we can fully understand the early spread of the disease through network modelling. I will show how an application of these ideas to the province of Newfoundland ended up in front of their Supreme Court and how it helped them controlled the disease.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Healthcare
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Royal Society COVID-19 rapid review initiative
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Contribution to a national consultation/review
Impact The Royal Society launched as an initiative to ensure that research related to COVID-19 is reviewed and published as quickly as possible. Alain Goriely and Philip Maini (also Mathematical Institute) directed the review process.
URL https://royalsociety.org/blog/2020/05/covid-19-rapid-review-update#:~:text=COVID%2D19%20rapid%20revi...
 
Title Research software - BrainNet 
Description BrainNet Software: A C++ Library for stiff, nonlinear network disease propa models 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Two publications using large graphs that were previously intractable 
URL https://github.com/travisbthomp/mbmgroup-refs/wiki
 
Title Research software - Pipeline for Atrophy Data 
Description A pipeline for working with atrophy data: more pipeline description 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Non as yet 
URL https://github.com/PavanChaggar/ADNIAnalysis
 
Title Research software - Pipeline for connectome graph 
Description A pipeline for connectome graph generation: more pipeline description 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Non as yet 
URL https://github.com/travisbthomp/mbmgroup-refs/wiki
 
Title Research software - Polygraph software 
Description PolyGraph Software: Generating signatures for topological network neurodegeneration 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Non as yet. 
URL https://github.com/travisbthomp/mbmgroup-refs/wiki
 
Title Research software - Pryon 
Description Pryon Software: A python wrapper for accessible BrainNet computations and open science 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Students are now able to easily use BrainNet features 
URL https://github.com/travisbthomp/mbmgroup-refs/wiki
 
Description "Mechanics of axon guidance" with Dr. Kristian Franze 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have designed a mathematical model to study the mechanical effects involved in axon guidance during early brain development.
Collaborator Contribution Dr. Franze has world-renowned expertise in the sudy of axon pathfinding. His contribution was important in our understanding of the biological and biophysical aspects of this process. His team is also currently working on measuring various important parameters that will be fed into the model.
Impact One paper in preparation
Start Year 2019
 
Description "Network models of proteopathy and atrophy development" - with the Living matter lab, Stanford University 
Organisation Stanford University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Development, analysis and simulation of a model of coupled protein-protein interactions and associated network evolution. The project is ongoing; one manuscript has been submitted to date.
Collaborator Contribution Development, advisement and collaborative discussion regarding models of coupled protein-protein interactions; simulation support and revisions of manuscripts.
Impact To date: One manuscript has been submitted to the PLOS J. Comp. Bio. The manuscript details are: Thompson, T. and Kuhl, E. and Goriely, A. "Protein-protein interactions in neurodegenerative diseases: a conspiracy theory". https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.10.942219
Start Year 2019
 
Description "Network models of proteopathy and atrophy development" - with the Living matter lab, Stanford University 
Organisation Stanford University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Development, analysis and simulation of a model of coupled protein-protein interactions and associated network evolution. The project is ongoing; one manuscript has been submitted to date.
Collaborator Contribution Development, advisement and collaborative discussion regarding models of coupled protein-protein interactions; simulation support and revisions of manuscripts.
Impact To date: One manuscript has been submitted to the PLOS J. Comp. Bio. The manuscript details are: Thompson, T. and Kuhl, E. and Goriely, A. "Protein-protein interactions in neurodegenerative diseases: a conspiracy theory". https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.10.942219
Start Year 2019
 
Description Biomarker Experimental Medicine, Hoffman-Roche 
Organisation Roche Glycart AG
Country Switzerland 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Hoffman-La Roche are an industrial sponsor for Pavan as part of the SABS doctoral training programme. Our contribution to the project involves mathematical modelling, statistical inference, image analysis and software development.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners are: Stefano Magon, Principal Scientist, Biomarker Experimental Medicine Leader, and Gregory Klein, Senior Principal Scientist. Clinical Imaging Biomarkers and Translational Technology, Neuroscience and Rare Diseases (NRD). Dr Magon and Dr Klein have significant expertise in clinical research pertinent to neurodegenerative disease. They are able to advise hypothesis testing and data analysis procedures.
Impact N/A
Start Year 2020
 
Description International Brain Mechanics and Trauma Lab (IBMTL) 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Engineering Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team maintain the network whose members are listed on the website, listing the latest research, news and events in the field. I also organise an annual international workshop.
Collaborator Contribution The co-director of the IBMTL is Professor Antoine Jerusalem. However, the IBMTL involves 41 academics and clinicians, across 25 main institutions. All members of the IBMTL are heavily involved in collaborative projects related directly to brain mechanics and trauma. The interaction between experts, from such a wide range of disciplines, is motivated by the need for multidisciplinary expertise to study the relationship between brain cell/tissue mechanics and brain functions/diseases/trauma.
Impact 6th Oxford International Neuron and Brain Mechanics Workshop, organised by the International Brain Mechanics and Trauma Lab (IBMTL) and supported by EPSRC grant NeuroPulse, EP/N020987/1.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Simula Research Laboratory (InFOMM) 
Organisation Simula Research Laboratory
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration involves work directly with Dr. Marie E. Rognes and her team via an Oxford student PhD project. Our contribution to this project is in the mathematical modelling, analysis, and the development of research software for these models.
Collaborator Contribution Dr. Rognes and her team bring significant expertise in the physiology and clearance phenomena in the brain, along with clinical data, to the project.
Impact Georgia Brennan TakeAIM Runner-up, Smith Institute
Start Year 2020
 
Title Computational connectomes and braid surface 
Description Computational connectomes and braid surface: A Matlab code for generating braid surfaces to identify Alzheimer's disease staging from connectomes. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2021 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact 1 publication that thoroughly examines different types and scales of connectome 
URL https://github.com/OxMBM/Connectome-Staging
 
Title Pysurfing 
Description **PySurfing** provides a tool to easily visualize results from mathematical modelling on anatomical surfaces. It stems from our interest in creating an accessible approach for anatomical visualizations of network neurodegeneration simulations. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2021 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Network neurodegeneration models often encounter questions of the *staging*, or ordering, of the regions of visitation of a protein agent in a series. For instance, staging arises in the study of Alzheimer's disease tau pathology where both tau seeds and neurofibrillary tangles proceed through a specific sequence of regions called the *Tau Braak Stages*. **PySurfer** provides two interfaces that can be used for sequenced activation map staging. 
URL https://github.com/OxMBM/pysurfing
 
Description Atreyi Chakrabarty, In pursuit of our virtual twin: can maths recreate humans? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact N/A
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://oxford.techtribe.co/in-pursuit-of-our-virtual-twin-can-maths-recreate-humans/
 
Description BBC Front Row - Ravel's Bolero 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact An interview with Professor Goriely on BBC Radio 4 Front Row, on the subject of mathematics, music and the brain, with a special focus on Ravel's Bolero. The interview was connected to a lecture that accompanied the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment event listed below. His bit starts at 23 mins in:
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0009380
 
Description BIOMA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk title, 'Modelling Dementia'.
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's are devastating conditions with poorly understood mechanisms and no known cure. Yet a striking feature of these conditions is the characteristic pattern of invasion throughout the brain, leading to well-codified disease stages visible to neuropathology and associated with various cognitive deficits and pathologies. How can we use mathematical modelling to gain insight into this process and, doing so, gain understanding about how the brain works? In this talk, I will show that by linking different theories and methods to recent progress in imaging, we can unravel some of the universal features associated with dementia and, more generally, brain functions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://mta.hu/data/esemenyek/2019/20191021-25%20BIOMAT%202019%20-%20Final%20Scientific%20Programme....
 
Description Bi-weekly Public Seminar Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A weekly seminar series hosted on Zoom and advertised using Twitter. Experts in various topics related to mathematical brain modelling are invited to speak. Students and research professionals, both domestic and international, attend and engage in discussion following the presentation. This venue has led to several collaborative projects between Oxford students and researchers from other universities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Bio-Mechanics workshop on cell membrane dynamics, active matter and plasticity in tissue, University of Oslo, Faculty of Mathematics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This international workshop brought together scientists from a wide range of fields with a special interest in bio-mechanics phenomena from cellular scale to the size of organs. Through a series of short talks the participants presented their work. The workshop worked to stimulate scientific exchange and to initiate new collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.mn.uio.no/math/english/research/groups/mechanics/events/conferences/bio-mechanics-worksh...
 
Description British Applied Mathematics Colloquium, Bath 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact ????
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Cambridge Scientific Society, November 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Title: Mathematics vs Dementia
Abstract: Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's are devastating conditions with poorly understood mechanisms and no cure. Yet, a striking feature of these conditions is the characteristic pattern of invasion throughout the brain, leading to well-codified disease stages associated with various cognitive deficits and pathologies. How can we use mathematical modelling to gain insight into this process and, doing so, gain understanding about how the brain works? In this talk, Professor Alain Goriely shows that by linking new mathematical theories to recent progress in imaging, we can unravel some of the universal features associated with dementia and, more generally, brain functions. Professor Alain Goriely is currently a Professor of Mathematical Modelling at the University of Oxford. He currently serves as the director of the Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (OCIAM), and director of the International Brain and Mechanics Lab.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMylqG_aCa0&t=342s
 
Description Cambridge University Scientific Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact TITLE: 'Mathematics vs Dementia'
ABSTRACT: Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's are devastating conditions with poorly understood mechanisms and no cure. Yet, a striking feature of these conditions is the characteristic pattern of invasion throughout the brain, leading to well-codified disease stages associated with various cognitive deficits and pathologies. How can we use mathematical modelling to gain insight into this process and, doing so, gain understanding about how the brain works? In this talk, Professor Alain Goriely shows that by linking new mathematical theories to recent progress in imaging, we can unravel some of the universal features associated with dementia and, more generally, brain functions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://talks.cam.ac.uk/show/index/6581
 
Description Cambridge, Archimedeans (CU Mathematical Society) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Does maths matter to brain matter? The curious geometry of the brain.

The fascinating convolutions of the human brain are believed to be caused by mechanical forces generated in the rapid expansion of the cortex with respect to the subcortical areas of the brain. These intricate folded shapes have fascinated generations of scientists and mathematicians and have, so far, defied a complete description. How do they emerge? How are they arranged? How is the brain shape related to its function? In this talk, I will review our current understanding of brain morphogenesis and how it can be modelled. In particular, I will discuss an ideal version of this problem that can be solved exactly, underlying the beautiful interplay between (differential) geometry and mechanics in the shaping of our most intricate organ.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://talks.cam.ac.uk/talk/index/136036
 
Description Cambridge, SIAM Student Chapter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Title: Modelling Dementia
Abstract: Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's are devastating conditions with poorly understood mechanisms and no known cure. Yet a striking feature of these conditions is the characteristic pattern of invasion throughout the brain, leading to well-codified disease stages visible to neuropathology and associated with various cognitive deficits and pathologies. How can we use mathematical modelling to gain insight into this process and, doing so, gain understanding about how the brain works? In this talk, I will show that by linking different theories and methods to recent progress in imaging, we can unravel some of the universal features associated with dementia and, more generally, brain functions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://studentchapter.maths.cam.ac.uk/events/siam-ima-2019/
 
Description Can Mathematics Understand the Brain? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Oxford Mathematics Public Lecture delivered at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford.
The human brain is the object of the ultimate intellectual egocentrism. It is also a source of endless scientific problems and an organ of such complexity that it is not clear that a mathematical approach is even possible, despite many attempts. In this talk the brain was used to showcase how applied mathematics thrives on such challenges. Through mathematical modelling, we will see how we can gain insight into how the brain acquires its convoluted shape and what happens during trauma. We will also consider the dramatic but fascinating progression of neuro-degenerative diseases, and, eventually, hope to learn a bit about who we are before it is too late.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYP3crI0wpc
 
Description Conférences Jacques Monod - CNRS - Roscoff 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Overall, this scientific program addressed emerging issues in developmental biology in an interdisciplinary manner, serving as a forum for scientists of biology, physics and mathematics backgrounds to interact. The host, the National Centre for Scientific Research is an interdisciplinary public research organisation under the administrative supervision of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, tasked with advancing knowledge for the benefit of society. It is among the world's leading research institutions. My talk was entitled: 'THE MECHANICS OF NEURONAL MORPHOGENESIS`'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.cnrs.fr/insb/cjm/2018/Bally-Cuif_e.html
 
Description D-BSSE Current Topics in Systems Biology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In this lecture I review our current understanding of brain morphogenesis and how it can be modeled. In particular, I will present simple models for basic pattern formation and show how they help us understand brain folding, brain organoids, and skull formation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.ethz.ch/content/dam/ethz/special-interest/bsse/department/Seminar%20PDFs/SeminarSeries_F...
 
Description Digital news article on the L'Institut national des sciences de l'Univers (INSU) website 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My research into the mechanics of morphogenesis of interlocking bivalved shells has gleened interest from another area of scientific research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.insu.cnrs.fr/fr/cnrsinfo/la-fermeture-hermetique-des-coquilles-bivalves-un-puzzle-resolu...
 
Description Evolving Soft Matter: Shape, Dynamics and Functionality 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Evolving Soft Matter: Shape, Dynamics and Functionality. The Geilo School 2019, March 11-21. The Geilo School, organised by The Physics department at IFE presents in a pedagogical manner the recent advances in the physics of hard and soft condensed matter with emphasis on phase transitions and dynamics. Altogether, more than 1500 students from around 30 different countries have participated in these schools.
My paper was entitled: Does soft matter matter to the matter of brain matter?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://ife.brage.unit.no/ife-xmlui/bitstream/handle/11250/2619207/IFE-E-2019-015.pdf?sequence=2&isA...
 
Description ICBT, International Conference on Biomedical Technology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Neurodegenerative Diseases and Dementia: Modelling and Understanding
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL http://www.icbt19.uni-hannover.de/
 
Description LMS Popular Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Title: Shaping the Brain: The Mathematics of Folding and Connecting

Abstract: The human brain is an organ of extreme complexity, the object of ultimate intellectual egocentrism, and a source of endless scientific challenges. Its intricate folded shape and complicated internal wiring have fascinated generations of scientists but still raise fundamental questions. How do brain convolutions emerge? How is the brain geometry related to its function? How are different parts of the brain connected to each other? What is special about the human brain? In this talk, I will show that by using geometry, scaling laws, modelling, and network topology, we can uncover some of the basic principles at work in the shaping of our brain.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxYrMfOevU4
 
Description LMS Research School: PDEs in Mathematical Biology: Modelling and Analysis 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This LMS Research School, organised in partnership with the Clay Mathematics Institute, featured 5 mini-courses, each totalling to approximately 5 hours of delivery time and split into 3-4 hours of lectures and 1-2 hours of tutorial/lab sessions.
Guest Lecture title: Modelling dementia
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.icms.org.uk/LMS_PDEsmathbio.php
 
Description London Mathematical Society, Popular Lectures, Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Title: Shaping the Brain: The Mathematics of Folding and Connecting
Abstract: The human brain is an organ of extreme complexity, the object of ultimate intellectual egocentrism, and a source of endless scientific challenges. Its intricate folded shape and complicated internal wiring have fascinated generations of scientists but still raise fundamental questions. How do brain convolutions emerge? How is the brain geometry related to its function? How are different parts of the brain connected to each other? What is special about the human brain? In this talk, I will show that by using geometry, scaling laws, modelling, and network topology, we can uncover some of the basic principles at work in the shaping of our brain.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/mathematics/news-and-events/events/2019/lms-popular-lectures-20...
 
Description MTA-BME Morphodynamics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Title: 'On the shape of gravitating planets'

Abstract: A classic problem of elasticity is to determine the possible equilibria of a planet modelled as a homogeneous compressible spherical elastic body subject to its own gravitational field. In the absence of gravity the initial radius is given and the density is constant. With gravity and for small planets, the elastic deformations are small enough so that the spherical equilibria can be readily obtained by using the theory of linear elasticity. For larger or denser planets, large deformations are possible and surprising behaviours emerge as will be revealed during this talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.morph.bme.hu/2019/11/03/guest-lecture-alain-goriely/
 
Description Mathematics for BioMedicine - Accademia dei Lincei, Rome 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The main objectives of the initative, 'Mathematics for BioMedicine', which is a joint venture with the European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology (ESMTB), is to celebrate the huge increase and importance of applications of mathematics to biology and life sciences in the last years and to foster the feedback loop between life sciences and mathematics for years to come.

My lecture was titled: MODELLING PRION-LIKE DISEASE ON A BRAIN SCALE: PROGRESSION, DAMAGE, AND ATROPHY.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://congressi.iac.cnr.it/mathbiomed2018
 
Description Mathematics of thin structures - Dresden 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Many models in mechanics, physics and biology invoke thin structures and physical processes therein. This workshop brought together mathematicians and physicists working on the modeling, mathematical analysis and numerics of such models. In particular, topics of interest include variational models for thin films (e.g. featuring wrinkling, prestrain and microstructure) and vector- and tensor-valued partial differential equations on surface (e.g. models for surface liquid crystals and surface fluids).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://tu-dresden.de/mn/math/wir/neukamm/die-professur/workshops/Workshop2018
 
Description Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation (MPIDS) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact MPIDS Colloquium: Dynamics and self-organization in the movement of plants and axons: A unified theory of tropism and taxis
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.ds.mpg.de/events/26566/2643882
 
Description Media Attention from Publication of A Physics Based Model in PRL and JMPS 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact From the multi-lateral collaborations with Professor Ellen Kuhl, the Weickenmeier Lab and Professor Dr. Mathias Jucker, our two papers in PRL and JMPS (on the prion-like progression of toxic proteins in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease) received a lot of media attention:
46 tweets from 44 users, with an upper bound of 51,595 followers
4 posts from 4 blogs
17 news stories from 15 outlets
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://aps.altmetric.com/details/35745690
 
Description MicroMotility, Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere e Arti, VENICE 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An International conference on Biological micromotility and bio-inspired micro-robotics. The title of my talk was, 'Filament motion through growth: principles and applications'
Abstract: For many biological systems, motion is limited or driven by growth. This is true for most plant motions as well as for the motion of axons in the early development of the brain. What are the guiding principles of motion through growth? It usually combines the relative motion of part of the body by addition of mass (apical or otherwise) for linear elongation controlled by active forces and the clever use of material anisotropy for the creation of curvature and torsion. In this talk, I review these basic principles and see how they apply to different biological settings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://micromotility2019.weebly.com/
 
Description Newfoundland and Labrador's travel ban. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Alain Goriely was approached by his collaborator Ellen Kuhl from Stanford University to work on a travel restriction issue in Newfoundland he started a Coronavirus journey that ended up in the Canadian Supreme Court.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/node/36932
 
Description Norwich 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science, genetics and microbiology. The Friday seminars are held in the John Innes Conference Centre, and are open to scientists at the John Innes Centre and partner institutes on the Norwich Research Park as well as members of the public.
My talk was entitled: MATHEMATICS VS DEMENTIA: THE ULTIMATE FOLLY
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.jic.ac.uk/about-us/friday-seminars/past-friday-seminars/
 
Description Numbers and Notes: Connections between Maths and Music, Keble College 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Keble College Music Society presented 'Numbers and Notes' - a one-day event exploring the connections between Maths and Music. ALAIN GORIELY & LUCIE DOMINO presented, 'Maths and Music: it's not that simple - an Illustrated Talk on Acoustics and Sound'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.keble.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/MM-flyer2.pdf
 
Description Orchestra of the age of enlightenment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Goriely opened the Bach, the Universe and Everything series at Kings Place and Music at Oxford.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://oae.co.uk/event/mathematics-and-the-brain-2/
 
Description Oxford AI Society, St. Peters College 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Title: 'Mathematical Modelling of Brain and Neural Functions'

A presentation of my research into modelling the spread of Alzheimer's and growth of tumors in the brain principally for a lay audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mathematical-modelling-of-the-brain-tickets-77623727659#
 
Description Oxford-IBM Scientific Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Challenges and opportunities in multiscale brain modelling
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Philippe Wiener Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Philippe Wiener Lecture delivered at the Départment de Mathématique, l'Université libre de Bruxelles, titled, ' Le Cerveau et les Mathématiques: Croissance et Traumatisme, Modèles et Solutions'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://sciences.brussels/agenda/cerveau-mathematiques-croissance-traumatisme-modeles-solutions/
 
Description Rundbrief - GAMM 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gesellschaft für Angewandte Mathematik und Mechanik (GAMM)
The Society for Applied Mathematics and Mechanics (GAMM) promotes the scientific development of all areas of applied mathematics and mechanics. The article, Gehirnmechanik? co-authored with Johannes Weickenmeier, and Ellen Kuhl, appeared in the bi-annual Rundbrief newsletter that is freely available online and read by 5000+ readers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.gamm-ev.de/images/publikationen/pdf/RB_2018_1.pdf
 
Description Seminario Matematico e Fisico di Milano 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Mathematics vs Dementia seminar/lecture
The "Seminario Matematico e Fisico di Milano" was officially inaugurated on 9 February 1927, following the constitution of its first Executive Council (27 November 1926).
The Seminar was established in collaboration between universities of Milan with the aim of spreading mathematical and physical knowledge and promoting studies and research in these fields. The work of the Seminar consists of conferences, congresses, lectures and other activities addressed to its stated aims.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.mate.polimi.it/smf/index.php?lg=en
 
Description Soft Tissue Modelling Workshop, Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact One of the greatest challenges for mechanical modelling is to extend its success to fields outside
traditional engineering, in particular to physiology, biomedical sciences, and medicine. Following
successful Soft Tissue Modelling Workshops in Glasgow during the period 2012 and 2017, this Fourth
workshop will continue the research forum for modelling specialists and medical experts to discuss and
exchange ideas on state-of-the-art developments and challenges in the field of soft tissue modelling,
with particular applications to tissues in the cardiovascular system and tissues affected by cancer.

Talk Title: MODELLING BRAIN AGEING AND DEMENTIA
Abstract: Unlike normal ageing, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or
Parkinson's are devastating conditions with poorly understood mechanisms and
no known cure. Yet a striking feature of these conditions is the characteristic
pattern of invasion throughout the brain, leading to well-codified disease stages
visible to neuropathology and associated with various cognitive deficits and
pathologies. How can we use mathematical modelling to gain insight into this
process and, doing so, gain understanding about how the brain works? In this talk,
I show that by linking new mathematical modelling to recent progress in
imaging and brain mechanics, we can unravel some of the universal
features associated with dementia and, more generally, brain functions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.softmech.org/media/Media_650095_smxx.pdf
 
Description Solid Mechanics Group, Department of Mechanics, Tianjin University, China 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This visit was mostly paid for by a research grant "Analysis and experimental verification of the stability of localized bulging in inflated hyperelastic membrane tubes" from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no 11372212) awarded to Professor Yibin Fu.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Solvay Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The main ambition of this meeting is to bring together internationally acclaimed experts as well as young researchers in mechanics, biomechanics, biolocomotion, material science and architecture to address the current scientific challenges in these various fields. The workshop serves as a platform to stimulate discussions, to start long-term scientific collaborations and to promote progress at the porous boundaries between research domains, such as elastic instabilities of slender objects, foldable structures /origamis/kirigamis, elasto-capillarity/fluid-structure interaction, biomechanics, bio-inspired robotics /stretchable electronics, etc.

TITLE: CURVES, STRINGS, RODS, FILAMENTS, AND STRIPS: ELASTICITY, MORPHOELASTICITY, AND CONFIGURATIONAL ELASTICITY.
The theory of elastic curves dates back to the 18th century and is a pillar of all mechanics and applied mathematics. While the classic theory of rods was fully formulated by the end of the19th century, there was a strong revival in the 1980s when it was understood that these structures could be used to model DNA. More recently, elastic rods and its multiple generalizations are again an exciting field of study motivated by a host of new applications in multiple fields and elegant experiments. In this talk I gave a general overview of the topic and discussed in more depth the case of morphoelastic rods where curves are allowed to grow and remodel.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.solvayinstitutes.be/event/workshop/mechanics_2018
 
Description Stanford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The title of my lecture, 'Mathematics vs dementia: the ultimate intellectual folly'. In summary: neurodegenerative diseases such as alzheimer's and parkinson's are devastating dementia conditions with poorly understood mechanisms and no known cures. Yet, they exhibit a characteristic invasion pattern through the brain associated with cognitive deficits and pathologies. How can we use mathematics to understand this process? By linking new mathematical theories to recent progress in imaging, we can unravel some of the universal features associated with dementia and, more generally, brain functions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://events.stanford.edu/events/815/81552/
 
Description Talks series: Topics in Mathematical Brain Modelling 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The mathematical brain modelling group, within the mathematics institute, hosts a bi-weekly talk series targeted at: intra-group skill development, outreach, and fomenting constructive collaborations across an interdisciplinary spectrum in neurodegenerative disease research. Speakers are invited from across the UK, and wider-area Europe, who are leading their respective fields in the mathematical modelling of neurodegenerative disease. The meetings are interdisciplinary and several Oxford-based research groups, from mathematics, engineering, psychiatry, etc, send faculty and students to attend.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020
 
Description UIUC Mechanical Engineering Dept 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The mechanics of plants and axons motion: a unified theory of tropism and taxis
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description UMN Math Biology Seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The four C's of nonlinear network pandemic modelling: Covid-19, Causality, Clustering, and Canada.

The spreading of infectious diseases including COVID-19 depends on human interactions. In an environment where behavioral patterns and physical contacts are constantly evolving according to new governmental regulations, measuring these interactions is a major challenge. Mobility has emerged as an indicator for human activity and, implicitly, for human interactions. Here, I will study the coupling between mobility and COVID-19 dynamics and show that variations in global air traffic and local driving mobility can be used to stratify different disease phases. I will show how local mobility can serve as a quantitative metric to estimate future reproduction numbers and identify the stages of the pandemic when mobility and reproduction become decorrelated. Moreover, we can fully understand the early spread of the disease through network modelling. I will show how an application of these ideas to the province of Newfoundland ended up in front of their Supreme Court and how it helped them controlled the disease.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://math.umn.edu/news-events/current-series/Math-Biology-Seminar
 
Description VPH2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The VPH conference series offers a platform to present research related to the Virtual Physiological Human and more broadly to Computational Systems Biomedicine, as well as applications in clinical settings, underpinning the move towards predictive personalised medicine.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://vph2020.sciencesconf.org/
 
Description Yale School of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Seminar Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Title: Does Soft Matter Matter to Brain Matter? The Curious Case of Brain Wrinkling

Abstract: The fascinating convolutions of the human brain are believed to be caused by mechanical forces generated in the rapid expansion of the cortex with respect to the subcortical areas of the brain. These intricate folded shapes have fascinated generations of scientists and have, so far, defied a complete description. How do they emerge? How is the brain shape related to its function? In this talk, I will review our current understanding of brain morphogenesis and how it can be modeled as a problem of active process in soft matter. In particular, I will discuss an ideal version of this problem given by the wrinkling of a morphoelastic film bounded to an elastic substrate and study in more details how brain matter deforms.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://seas.yale.edu/news-events/events/does-soft-matter-matter-brain-matter-curious-case-brain-wri...