Mathematical Biosciences Institute

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Mathematical Biosciences Institute
Mathematical Biosciences Institute Logo.png
DirectorJanet Best, Laura Kubatko[1]
Location, ,
39°59′48″N 83°00′56″W / 39.996772°N 83.01545°W / 39.996772; -83.01545Coordinates: 39°59′48″N 83°00′56″W / 39.996772°N 83.01545°W / 39.996772; -83.01545
AffiliationsOhio State University
Ohio State University Jennings Hall

The Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI) is an institution of higher learning affiliated with the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.[2][3] MBI received major funding from the National Science Foundation. The institute offers a vigorous program of research and education, and fosters the growth of an international community of researchers in the mathematical biosciences.


Under the leadership of founding director Avner Friedman, MBI opened its doors in September 2002, holding its first workshop, hosting its first visiting researchers, and starting its first cohort of postdocs in that month. MBI holds 10–12 scientific workshops each year, and hosts about 25 postdoctoral and visiting researchers in residence at any given time. Through its collective events and programs, MBI draws over 1000 visits by researchers in the broadly defined area of mathematical biology throughout the year. MBI’s long term planning is overseen by its Directorate and its Board of Trustees, while its scientific activities are overseen by its Directorate and its Scientific Advisory Committee.


The Mathematical Biosciences Institute is organized around three parallel scientific research streams: neuroscience, development & aging, and community dynamics & adaptation. MBI activities are designed to amplify the work of and support the growth of communities of mathematical and statistical scientists who are providing transformational contributions in these broad research streams.

The stated mission of MBI is to:

  • Support and identify new opportunities for convergent research in the mathematical biosciences.
  • Provide novel mathematical and statistical tools to leverage emerging bioscientific technologies for discovery.
  • Develop and implement innovative training paradigms for the next generation of mathematical bioscientists.

In carrying out its mission, MBI adheres to the following guiding principles:

  • Accessibility and Inclusivity: Programming is widely accessible and is designed to promote inclusivity in the mathematical biosciences.
  • Community-Driven Programming: The national/international mathematical biosciences community prioritizes the distribution of funding.
  • Evidence-Based Planning and Assessment: The MBI administrative and governance structure is designed to support the institute’s mission and enable it to be responsive to ongoing evidence-based evaluation and assessment of its programming and to emerging scientific priorities.

MBI programs[edit]


MBI organizes Emphasis Semesters consisting of three or four week-long workshops. Emphasis Semesters are organized around selected themes which have included Mathematical Neuroscience, Cancer and Its Environment, and Analysis of Complex Data in Biological Systems. Outside of Emphasis Semesters, Current Topic Workshops focus on emerging topics in the mathematical biosciences. Most of the Institute's programs are conducted on The Ohio State University campus, but MBI also sponsors conferences and workshops at its academic Institute Partners. MBI accepts proposals for future programs.[4][5]

Postdoctoral fellows[edit]

MBI postdoctoral fellows engage in an integrated program of tutorials, working seminars, workshops, and interactions with their mathematical and bioscience mentors. These activities are geared toward providing the tools to pursue an independent research program with an emphasis on collaborative research in the mathematical biosciences.

Long-term visitors[edit]

MBI has a program of support for visitors to spend an extended period of time in residence. During their time at the institute, which can range from a few weeks to many months, visitors can focus on their research while benefiting from participation in MBI workshops and seminars and collaborating with others in the MBI community. Visitors also participate in the Visiting Lecturer Program through which they can share their research.

Early Career Awards[edit]

Early Career Awards are aimed at non-tenured scientists who have continuing employment and who hold a doctorate in any of the mathematical, statistical and computational sciences, or in any of the biological, medical, and related sciences. Award winners are supported to spend a period of time in residence at MBI.

Education programs[edit]

The MBI Summer Undergraduate Research Program aims to give outstanding undergraduate students the opprtunity to conduct meaningful research in the mathematical biosciences. MBI works with partner institutions to facilitate an eight-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), supported by the National Science Foundation. Students also participate in a mathematical biology bootcamp at MBI and present their completed research at the Undergraduate Capstone Conference.

MBI co-sponsors a rotating annual summer school with the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) and Centre for Applied Mathematics in Bioscience and Medicine (CAMBAM). The school brings together graduate students in mathematics, biology, and related fields to engage in a focused course of study on a current topic in mathematical biology.[6]


Past programs include the workshop for Women Advancing Mathematical Biology, Workshop for Young Researchers in Mathematical Biology, Blackwell Tapia Conference, and the Science Sundays lecture series.

Institute Partners[edit]

The MBI Institute Partner (IP) program promotes the involvement of the international math biosciences community in MBI programs. Institute Partners receive direct benefits and opportunities enabling them to support, guide and participate in MBI research and education programs.

List of directors[edit]

Image Name Timespan
Avner Friedman 2002-2008
Marty Golubitsky.jpg Marty Golubitsky 2008-2016
Grzegorz A. Rempala.jpg Grzegorz Rempala 2016–2017 (interim)
Janet Best, Kate Calder 2018–2019
Janet Best, Laura Kubatko 2019-present


External links[edit]

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