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Hi, my name is Matt Pennington, and I'm from the University of Michigan. I am a 6th year MD/PhD student, and study under the advisement of David Lubensky, in Biophysics. I suppose I am interested in everything, or perhaps just learning for its own sake. That said, I study the mechanism of pattern formation in the developing drosophila eye, and the nature of that signalling system. I am interested in genetic systems, in general, and development, in particular. Also, of course, anything medical strikes my fancy immediately.
Here I am, offering you a colorful bird.
Answers to questions:
1. What do I have to offer? Whenever I try to guess at this, I'm wrong, so I'll just say that I've dabbled in a lot of things, and you never know what becomes pertinent. I've had the first two years of medical school, did my undergrad in physics and biochemistry, worked for a while in DNA dynamics, and now I model developmental systems. I guess that means I'm at least somewhat familiar with biological phenomenology at length scales from 3nm to 2m.
2. What do I want to learn at CSSS? Has the study of complex systems yielded results or techniques that I might find useful for the study of organism-level biology?
3. Do I have any projects that would benefit from an interdisciplinary approach? Yes. All of them. Systems biology is almost painfully interdisciplinary. Ouch.
4. Do I have any ideas for projects? A couple. Studying placentation with reaction-diffusion and/or automaton based modeling is something I'd like to do sometime. Placental-failure diseases could also be interesting to study, if they turn out that way (funny how modeling goes...).
5. Suppose I cold travel 100 years into the future...?
a. Do we understand developmental genetics in mechanistic detail? b. How did gene therapy work out? c. What do people die of, and when? d. Am I the first one here? e. Where can I get an '81 DeLorean worked on? f. Does rock music still exist?