Photo of Dr Eder Zavala

Dr Eder Zavala

MRC Research Fellow

Email:

Telephone: 01392 727464

Extension: (Streatham) 7464

Room: Living Systems Institute S01.07

I'm interested in the homeostatic control mechanisms behind neuroendocrine regulation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. My goal is to develop a mathematical understanding of hormone dynamics. Currently, I'm modelling the mechanisms regulating the synthesis of glucocorticoids (e.g. cortisol) during physio- pathological scenarios. As it occurs with many homeostatic control mechanisms, the HPA axis demands a multiscale modelling approach to grasp its effects at the molecular, cellular, and organismic level. My plan is to continue developing these multiscale mathematical models to understand the dynamic changes elicited by disease, with a focus on understanding the disruption of these mechanisms during stress-related disorders.

My current fellowship is funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the project is being developed in collaboration with the University of Bristol and the NIH in the United States. I also participate in several projects related to the links between stress and metabolism, mental health, and wearable device technology. For more information about the research we do at our group please visit the EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Biomedical Modelling and Analysis.

For recent updates on research, events, and opportunities, check out my Twitter @ederzavala

Background

I’m a physicist with a great passion for mathematical biology and biomedicine. Ever since graduate school at CINVESTAV, Mexico, my research interests have revolved around modelling signalling pathways and gene regulatory networks, and about how the architecture of these networks affects their dynamics and robustness against noise. During my MSc in Engineering and Biomedical Physics I developed ODE models of self-regulated gene circuits, exploring how negative and positive feedback loops affect bacterial phenotypes. While doing my PhD in Molecular Biomedicine, I developed a DDE model of a somitogenic regulatory network that considered the interactions between antagonistic gradients and genetic clocks that embryonic cells use as spatiotemporal cues to achieve robust, irreversible commitment to a somitic fate. Later, while at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in Japan, I investigated non-classic stochastic effects in gene expression and used advanced computational tools to simulate these processes at the single gene level. I also performed spatial stochastic simulations of asymmetric protein segregation in yeast and developed a Delayed Stochastic Simulation Algorithm with cell division (DSSAcd) to explore cell cycle effects in feedback-regulated gene circuits.

Collaborations

University of Exeter - Prof John Terry / Dr Jamie Walker (MRC Fellow) / Dr Ozgur Akman / Prof Giovanna Colombetti / Prof Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova / Dr Kyle Wedgwood (MRC Fellow)

University of Bristol - Prof Stafford Lightman (FRS) / Dr Francesca Spiga / Dr Thomas Upton

King's College London - Dr Matteo Cella / Dr Daniel Stahl

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México - Prof Marco Herrera / Prof Marcia Hiriart

Honours/Awards

- MRC Skills Development Fellowship / 2017-2020.

- Royal Society Newton Mobility Grant (with UNAM, Mexico) / 2017-2019.

- Engaged Research Exploratory Award / 2017.

- CEMPS Impact Incubator Award / 2016.

- Member of the National System of Researchers of Mexico, Level 1 (SNI 1) / 2015-2017.