Michael Reed is a Professor of Mathematics at Duke University. He was trained as an analyst but began working on problems in biology in the 1980s. His main interest is using mathematical methods to understand human physiology. He has studied the transport of materials inside cells, the properties of the auditory system, the production of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone by the pituitary gland, and more recently how cell metabolism, both normal and pathological, is involved in neurdogenerative diseases (like Parkinson's disease) and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Professor Reed will lecture on "Mathematics, Cell Metabolism, and Public Health." We have 50 years of data relating diet to cancer, to heart disease, and to other human health problems. These are statistical correlations and typically the correlations are small. Between the dietary input (vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates) and the disease outcomes are the cells of the human body. Until we understand how diet changes the metabolic processes inside of cells we will not be able to design successful prevention strategies or successful therapies in the case of disease. Unfortunately these metabolic processes are very complicated and biological experimentation is very difficult. Professor Reed will explain how mathematics can be used to understand cellular processes and give valuable information about public health issues such as birth defects, colon cancer, and diabetes.