Math Biology Seminar: Claire Guerrier

  • Date: 01/25/2017
  • Time: 13:45
Claire Guerrier,UBC

University of British Columbia


Multi-scale modeling of vesicular release at neuronal synapses.


Binding of molecules, ions or proteins to small target sites is a generic step of cell activation. This process relies on rare stochastic events where a particle located in a large bulk has to find small and often hidden targets. I will present in this talk a hybrid discrete-continuum model that takes into account both a stochastic regime governed by rare events and a continuous regime in the bulk, in the context of vesicular release at chemical synapses.


In a first part, I computed the mean time for a Brownian particle to arrive at a narrow opening defined as the small cylinder joining two tangent spheres. This models the binding of calcium ions on the SNARE complex, a process that triggers vesicular release. Using this result, I developed a model to study how vesicles and calcium channels organization shape such process.


In a second part, I will present a model for the pre-synaptic terminal built using the results described above. This model was formulated in an initial stage as a reaction-diffusion problem in a confined microdomain, where Brownian particles have to bind to small target sites. I coarse-grained this model into a system of mass action equations coupled to a set of Markov equations, which allows to obtain analytical results and to realize fast stochastic simulations.

Other Information: 

Location:PIMS, ESB 4th floor