BIOENGINEERING Term Instructional Faculty Candidate SEMINAR

When: Friday – April 17th, 2015 @ 1:30 -2:00 PM

Location: ENGR 3507

Speaker: Laurence C. Bray, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor,  George Mason University

Title: Modeling Biological Systems: From Differential Equations To Excitable Neurons


The field of bioengineering encompasses a variety of concentrations. Although each of them requires a different knowledge and set of skills they all involve a strong linkage between engineering and biological principles. Therefore, to best prepare bioengineering students to enter their working life, undergraduate and graduate classes should be geared towards understanding the bridge between theoretical methods and biological systems, and utilizing engineering tools to solve biomedical problems. This seminar will first give a brief overview on how to utilize mathematical equations to model biological structures. More specifically, it will cover specific differential equations utilized to simulate neural activity in the brain. The second part of the presentation will show possible quantitative measures that can be extracted from modeling these neural networks. Finally, it will provide other relevant applications that can evolve from using mathematical methods and applying them to biomedical systems. By the end of the seminar, students should understand basic compu-tational techniques for modeling and analyzing biological systems, specifically excitable cells in the brain.


Dr. Laurence Bray received her B.S. degree in biological sciences and M.S. degree in bioengineering from Clemson University, SC in 2004 and 2005, respectively. She received her Ph.D. degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) in 2010. She then gained more research and teaching experience as a postdoctoral fellow in computer science and engineering at UNR.

                As a postdoctoral fellow and a research assistant professor, Laurence focused on developing bio-inspired models and integrating them in a virtual neurorobotic environment to study high-level human behaviors. Along with her research, she has taught a computational neuroscience course for both under-graduate and graduate students.

Laurence has recently started a new appointment as a research assistant professor in the Department of Bioengineering at George Mason University. She continues her research in the field of computational neuroscience working with Dr. Wilsaan Joiner in studying basic neural mechanisms underlying visual perception and motor adaptation. She has been the instructor for two senior design courses (BENG 492 and 493) as well as a mentor for several under-graduate students who received an undergraduate research scholars program (URSP) award.



Claudia Borke

Academic Program Coordinator

Volgenau School of Engineering, Department of Bioengineering

3800 Nguyen Engineering Building, 1G5

4400 University Drive

Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: (703) 993-4190

Fax: (703) 993-2077