Takashi Suzuki Laboratory Research (including materials, biology and medical research)
Mathematics is sometimes referred to as the 'universal language'. It is a set of properties that all humans can understand, regardless of culture, religion or language. This unifying ability of mathematics also applies to the various fields within science. Basic sciences such as physics, chemistry and biology, as well as applied sciences like engineering and medicine, are all intimately linked by the principles of mathematics. By applying mathematical analysis to these diverse scientific fields, several key problems within the natural sciences can be solved. These problems span from the analysis and modelling of nonlinear phenomena to ill-posed problems to variational problems to mathematical oncology.
Each of these mathematical problems are of interest to Professor Takashi Suzuki. In his lab at the Center for Mathematical Modeling and Data Science at Osaka University, Suzuki and his team are focusing their efforts on developing mathematical models that link these problems together to provide logical and applicable solutions. These solutions can, in turn, break down complex mathematical phenomena and provide a solid foundation that spans across all scientific disciplines. Additionally, they can be applied in medical settings to aid in scenarios such as cancer research and treatment.
One of Suzuki's studies in mathematical oncology focused on 'basement membrane degradation' in cells, a process that occurs at the early stage of cancer invasion. This stage allows the cancer to infiltrate the extracellular matrix (ECM) and fully take over the cell. Currently, biologists theorise that the enzyme, MMP, involved in basement membrane degradation is recruited to the cell's plasma membrane by a molecule called TIMP2. Using mathematical modelling, Suzuki and his team have been able to provide biologists with a clear pathway that enables MMP to bind to the cell and activate basement membrane degradation. With this model, biologists can develop treatments that will intercept this pathway and halt cancer progression before it can metastasise.
On multicellular level, Suzuki's team has also studied the formation of invadopodia: protrusions of the plasma membrane that are filled with actin protein and associated with the degradation of the ECM during early stage cancer invasion. From a mathematical perspective, these membrane protrusions are a result of a positive feedback loop that asserts actin reorganisation. Recently, Suzuki's lab constructed a multiscale model of invadopodia that was successfully simulated on a computer. As seen in the molecular-based mathematical model, this multiscale model can greatly benefit biologists who wish to further understand the cellular process that occur before a cell is overtaken by cancer.
Keywords: BASEMENT MEMBRANE DEGRADATION IN CELLS; CELLULAR PROCESS; CENTER FOR MATHEMATICAL MODELING AND DATA SCIENCE; COMPUTER SIMULATION; EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX (ECM); MATHEMATICAL MODELLING; MATHEMATICAL ONCOLOGY; MOLECULAR-BASED MATHEMATICAL MODEL; MULTISCALE MODEL OF INVADOPODIA; NONLINEAR PHENOMENA; PLASMA MEMBRANE; TUMOUR GROWTH
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2018
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