Sex Differences in Physiology: Mathematical Modelling and Analysis (23w5045)


Aurélie Carlier (Maastricht University)

Anita Layton (University of Waterloo)


The Banff International Research Station will host the "Sex Differences in Physiology: Mathematical Modelling and Analysis" workshop in Banff from March 5 to March 10, 2023.

Group Photo

The long-term goals of this 5-day workshop are to foster new collaborations, with a particular focus on junior researchers, to promote new research at the interface between mathematics and physiology that takes into account the influence of sex and gender, and ultimately to address the knowledge gap in healthcare between the sexes and genders. As such, we propose a collaborative workshop organized around “project teams.” Specifically, workshop participants will be divided into 6 project teams. Each team will consist of a pair of senior researchers and 3-5 junior participants (advanced graduate students, postdocs or junior faculty). During the week, each team will collaborate and work feverishly on one project (e.g., to develop a sex-specific computational model of liver function). The workshop will also include keynote lectures as well as sessions for poster presentations, panel discussions, and mentoring.

We want to highlight that a workshop on sex-specific modeling of physiological and pathological processes is very relevant and timely. Firstly, in the past, most basic and clinical research focused on male subjects or animals to exclude potential confounding factors arising from the fluctuating hormone levels and to reduce costs (as replicating experiments in both sexes requires twice the resources). Computational models have a rich potential to enhance our understanding of sex-specific processes. In particular, they are cheaper than in vitro or in vivo experiments. Moreover, they also require less time to calculate the simulation results, allowing a significant speed-up of the experiments. Finally, they can help untangle the interactions between hormone levels, sex-specific anatomy, and signaling and protein expression by providing a quantitative framework for simulation and hypothesis testing.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada's Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Alberta's Advanced Education and Technology, and Mexico's Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT).