The goal of this second BiIP conference is to develop new directions towards a deep understanding of complex pattern formation.  The conference will consist of a set of meetings between biologists and mathematicians, to sketch some models for phenomena including

  • Developmental self-assembly of complex morphologies
  • Regenerative repair (morphostasis)
  • Cancer (failure of morphostasis)
  • Coordination of individual cell activities towards the anatomical needs of the host (control that crosses scales and levels of organization)

We hope to begin to address issues including

  • What mathematical formalisms are appropriate for understanding actual shape outcomes, not only gene networks?
  • What data structures and concepts are useful for incorporating developmental information that exists at the level of bioelectric cell states?
  • How to understand field-like (non-local) properties of signaling events in pattern regulation?
  • How to best produce predictive, testable models of top-down pattern formation (in complement to emergent phenomena from cell-level rule specification)?
  • What are the appropriate quantities, parameters, and observables that give optimal predictive control over growth and form?

Our goal is to advance much-needed basic theory in this  field, and to develop models that can be tested in the lab.  Implications of this work extend to developmental, evolutionary, computational, and cancer biology, as well as regenerative biomedicine and the synthetic bioengineering of novel forms.


Sponsors:  We gratefully acknowledge Tufts University support from


Website design: Daniel Lobo

Website content: Michael Levin

Administrative management: William Baga

Contact with questions or materials to be added to the site: Mike Levin