Josué David Rodríguez Nieves

Institution/Organization: Inter American University of Puerto Rico, Bayamón Campus.

Department: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Academic Status: Undergraduate Student.

What conference theme areas are you interested in (check all that apply):

Computational science and machine learning;
Statistical modeling, methods, and computation;
Algorithms at extreme scales;
Data science, analytics, and visualization;
Applications in science, engineering, and industry;
Biological and biomedical computations;
Scientific simulation and uncertainty;
Numerical optimization: methods and applications;
Reduced order modeling.


My research aims are the study and modeling of biological systems. Currently, I am creating mathematical models of complex proteins to study and understand their contribution to the biological process in both, nature and humans. My main focus consists in the formulation, parameterizing (obtaining unknown parameters using optimization techniques), and validating the mathematical models by emulating empirical and theoretical data. My future as a researcher pursues this discipline, more specifically in the area of Computational Biology. I have always been captivated by the idea of uniting my interdisciplinary knowledge for the study and advances of medical area. In addition, I am delighted by the easiness in which the mathematical models can be altered to solve and understand problems that affect nature. The field of mathematical modeling has become a fundamental tool for the study of systems in different disciplines. Moreover, they have become indispensable to understand and interpret problems that are intended to be solved during a research. 

As a future graduate student and researcher, I decided to start developing myself in subjects related to Computational Biology. For this reason, I am currently conducting a research related to the parameter estimation for a mathematical model of the NCK exchanger. Human genes encoding the NCK exchanger have been identified in different coral species expressed in the calicoblastic cell membrane that faces the site of coral calcification. However, the contribution of the NCKX in the coral calcification process is still unknown. We hypothesize that NCKX serves as a complementary mechanism for coral calcification in the absence of photosynthetic activity because this protein has a role in the light adaption and cells homeostasis in mammals photoreceptors. To explore the contribution of the NCKX in the coral calcification, we will formulate a mathematical model of this protein and then compute unknown parameters by fitting NCKX model outcomes to published in vitro data. 

I hope to be doing research similar to these during my graduate studies. Through this research I have learned to apply my interdisciplinary knowledge specifically in mathematics to model real-world problems. I am interested in this area because I feel capable of solving problems and closely works with another scientist who deal in the laboratory (in vitro) with research related to human nature.