I have a BSc, a MSc, and a PhD, all in physics, but most of my research has been advocated to tackling biological problems with tools from physics and mathematics. I have published more than 50 research journal papers and book chapters, and belong to 4 editorial boards. My main area of research is: dynamical modelling of biological phenomena. Although most of my projects share these key words, the scope of the studied biological systems varies largely. A list of past projects involves:
-Nonlinear dynamical and stochastic behaviour of bacterial gene regulatory networks: trp operon, lac operon, etc.
-Origin and arrest of oscillations in the somitogenesis genetic clock of mice and chicks.
-Dynamic optimality vs. thermodynamic performance in biological energy-converting systems: muscle contraction, molecular motors, and enzymatic reactions.
- Oscillatory dynamic behaviour of the sperac signalling pathway of sea urchin.
My research achievements are partially due to successful collaborations with: Michael Mackey, at McGill University; Fernando Angulo-Brown, at Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Mexico; Hong Qian, at University of Washington; Eduardo S. Zeron, at Cinvestav Mexico; and Andrew Fowler, at University of Oxford.
Although I started as a theoretical biologist, my work has drifted toward close collaborations with experimental biologists. Nowadays, all my projects involve theoretical and experimental work. My current projects include the study of:
-Motility in the different stages of the parasite T. cruzi, with Rebeca Manning.
-Stochastic dynamic behaviour of the tryptophanase operon in E. coli, with Agustino Martinez.
-Intracellular calcium dynamics in smooth muscle cells, with Agustin Guerrero.
-Bacterial population dynamics in the wetlands of Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico, with Gabriela Olmedo.
My plan is to continue working on this collaborative projects, and to look for new ones along similar lines, so long as they involve close collaboration with experimentalists. If I find the conditions, I would like to establish an experimental lab.
I have taught for more than 20 years at Instituto Politecnico Nacional (Mexico), McGill University, and my current institution. I have participated in courses as diverse as classical mechanics, statistical physics, nonlinear dynamics, mathematical biology, biochemistry, and physiology, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
I have graduated 9 BSc, 11 MSc, and 3 PhD students. Some of my former students have faculty positions in various Mexican institutions or have gone into industry, while others continue their training in institutions like: Duke University, Osaka Institute of Technology, and University of New Mexico. I am now supervising 3 PhD and 1 MSc students.
From 2008 to 2010 I was in charge of the graduate programs at my department. During my term our MSc program gained high reputation: we have a constant inflow of students from all around Mexico and some Latin American countries; and about 25% of our graduates continue their PhD training in Europe and North America. I was also responsible of designing and starting our PhD program, whose first students are to graduate in 2014.