Modeling Highly Multifactorial Disorders with Agent-Based Modeling and Machine Learning


This webinar of the VPHi Keynote Webinar Series featuring Professor Shayn Peirce-Cottler from the University of Virginia (UVA) will take place on Wednesday 25 May 2022, 18:00-19:30 under the moderation of Zeynep Karagöz, member of the VPHi Student Committee. The webinar, organised with the collaboration of Prof Jerome Noailly, will be broadcasted live during the 6th VPH Summer School in Barcelona.

Registration is not mandatory, you can access directly at this LINK


The most prevalent, devastating, and complex diseases of our time, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and infectious diseases, involve the dynamic interactions of cells with one another and with their changing environment. However, the drugs we typically use to treat diseases target a single protein and disregard the fact that cells within tissues are highly heterogeneous and have individualized responses that contribute to the tissue-level outcomes. To bridge the gap between protein and multi-cell/tissue-levels of spatial scale, my lab develops agent-based computational models and uses them in combination with experiments and machine learning approaches to predict how individual cell behaviors give rise to tissue-level adaptations. We have used agent-based modeling to simulate the structural adaptations of large and small blood vessels, cardiac and skeletal muscle regeneration following injury, and immune cell trafficking and differentiation during inflammation and fibrosis. Our studies have suggested new mechanistic hypotheses and provided guidance for the design of novel therapies that account for the dynamic and heterogeneous interactions between different cell types within diseased and regenerating tissues.


Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Ph.D. is Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of Biomedical Engineering with secondary appointments in the Department of Ophthalmology and Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Virginia (UVA). Dr. Peirce-Cottler received Bachelor’s of Science degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from The Johns Hopkins University in 1997. She earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia in 2002. Dr. Peirce-Cottler develops computational models in conjunction with experiments to study structural and functional adaptations of tissues in order to develop therapies for inducing regeneration in injured tissues and restoring homeostasis to diseased tissues. Her lab combines multiscale computational modeling with in vivo imaging of murine experimental models to examine and control the multi-cell interactions that underpin inflammation, angiogenesis, and fibrosis. Dr. Peirce-Cottler has published over 125 peer reviewed papers and book chapters, and she is an inventor on two U.S. Patents. She is a fellow in both the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows (AIMBE) and in the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). She is also Past-President of The Microcirculatory Society. At UVA, Dr. Peirce-Cottler is the Director of the Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering and the Co-Director of UVA’s Center for Advanced Biomanufacturing. Dr. Peirce-Cottler is a UVA School of Medicine Pinn Scholar, and in 2020 she was awarded the UVA School of Medicine’s Robert H. Kader Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring. Dr. Peirce-Cottler is passionate about mentoring students and faculty, promoting diversity in STEM, and participating in K-12 outreach to increase students’ interest and self-confidence in pursuing STEM careers.


This webinar belongs to the VPHi keynote webinar series, a quarterly event organized by the VPHi Student Committee that provides a forum for access to senior community members and their expert competence for chiefly young scientists, but also to the VPH community as a whole.

With the series, VPHi wishes to:

  • Offer added value to prospective young scientist VPHi Student members through core content
  • Create visibility of VPH knowledge dissemination for external stakeholders
  • Highlight excellence within the VPHi, additionally providing student members with a label of quality
  • Promote scientific interaction between junior and senior community members and across VPHi disciplines



Tag: | Webinar: 33 of 42
All webinar


More news


More events

Subscribe to the VPH Institute Newsletter


Read all the newsletters of the VPH Institute