Blood cell formation (hematopoiesis) is maintained by hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) that reside in the bone marrow and give rise to all types of mature blood cells. Mathematical models help to understand how blood cell formation is regulated and how this can be used to optimize clinical interventions such as bone marrow transplantation.
Cancers of the blood forming system are a very heterogeneous group of diseases. An important example is acute myeloid leukemia. It is driven by leukemic stem cells that resist treatment and trigger relapse. Mathematical models can help to characterize leukemic stem cell properties and to predict the clinical course of the disease.
The regenerative capacity and the functionality of tissues decline with age. These processes are related to changes of stem cell properties. Especially in the context of regenerative medicine or tissue transplantations it is relevant to understand and counteract age-related stem cell impairments. Mathematical models can help to understand and quantify how stem cell properties change with age.
Learning and cognition require lifelong formation of neurons. Formation of neurons in the adult brain is driven by a small population of neural stem cells. Mathematical models help to quantify neural stem cell properties and their change during aging.
Plants maintain pools of active stem cells to continuously generate new organs such as leaves and flowers. The plant stem cells are located in specialized tissues, so-called meristems. Mathematical models contribute to the mechanistic understanding of meristem regulations and mutant phenotypes.