Friday, April 5, 2013

Leon Glass wins Winfree Prize

Leon Glass was honored recently by the Society for Mathematical Biology. Their website states:
“The Society for Mathematical Biology is pleased to announce that this year's recipient of the Arthur T. Winfree prize is Prof. Leon Glass of McGill University. Awarded every two years to a scientist whose work has 'led to significant new biological understanding affecting observation/experiments,' this prize commemorates the creativity, imagination and intellectual breadth of Arthur T. Winfree.

Beginning with simple and brilliantly chosen experiments, Leon launched the study of chaos in biology. Among the applications he and his many collaborators and students pursued was the novel idea of "dynamical disease" and the better understanding of pathologies like Parkinson's disease and cardiac arrhythmias. His elegant work (with Michael Guevara and Alvin Shrier) on periodic stimulation of heart cells demonstrated and explained how the interaction of nonlinearities with oscillations create complex dynamics and chaos.

The book "From Clocks to Chaos," which he co-authored with Michael Mackey, was an instant classic that illuminated this difficult subject for a whole generation of mathematical biologists. His combination of imagination, experimental and mathematical insight, and ability to communicate fundamental principles has launched new fields of research and inspired researchers ranging from applied mathematicians to medical researchers.”
Leon Glass is the Isadore Rosenfeld Chair in Cardiology at McGill University. Russ Hobbie and I cite his book From Clocks to Chaos (discussed previously in this blog) in the 4th edition of Intermediate Physics for Medicine and Biology, especially in Chapter 10 when discussing nonlinear dynamics. According to Google Scholar, the book has been cited 1800 times. Even more highly cited (over 2600 times) is Mackey and Glass’s paper Oscillation and Chaos in Physiological Control Systems (Science, Volume 197, Pages 287-289, 1977), which Russ and I also cite.

Other books and papers mentioned in IPMB include
Bub, G., A. Shrier, and L. Glass (2002). Spiral wavegeneration in heterogeneous excitable media. Phys. Rev. Lett. 88:058101.

Glass, L., Y. Nagai, K. Hall, M. Talajic, and S. Nattel (2002). Predicting the entrainment of reentrant cardiacwaves using phase resetting curves. Phys. Rev. E, 65:021908.

Guevara, M. R., L. Glass, and A. Shrier (1981). Phaselocking,period-doubling bifurcations and irregular dynamicsin periodically stimulated cardiac cells. Science 214: 1350–1353.

Glass, L. (2001). Synchronization and rhythmicprocesses in physiology. Nature. 410(825): 277–284.

Kaplan, D., and L. Glass (1995). Understanding NonlinearDynamics. New York, Springer-Verlag.
You can listen to Glass talk about cardiac arrhythmias on youtube here.

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