Philip G. McQueen

Tel: (301) 594-2901

General Information

One time I attended a conference about non-linear dynamics in which a raucous debate erupted over the value of modeling of biological systems. A colleague got up and said something to the effect, "People often make some pronouncement in biology, without fully understanding the consequences of what they have proposed. We need modeling to understand those consequences." One purpose of modeling, of course, is to make a utilitarian forecast, such as the outcome of a disease in a patient given clinical input. However, often we do not know the processes (or interaction between them) which may be important in a biological system, or even if we do, the range of parameters which define those processes are uncertain. But we can ask the following questions: suppose we suspect some biochemical or biomechanical or immulogical process influences some biological system? Then what would be the logical outcome of the presence of this process as values of the defining parameters are varied in magnitude? How might the process manifest itself in bench-side experiments or in epidemiological field studies? And if there is no empirical evidence for the effect, then what might that tell us as well? Understanding the consequences of a hypothesis with ruthless logic, I think, is one of the most important purposes of mathematical modeling in biology.

Current Projects

Selected Papers

(For a comprehensive listing of my publications, see my entries on the DCB publication database.)

2008: Philip G. McQueen and F. Ellis McKenzie, "Host Control of Malaria Infections: Constraints on Immune and Erythropoeitic Response Kinetics," PLoS Computational Biology, vol. 5, URL:

2004: Luis A Parada, Philip G McQueen, and Tom Misteli, "Tissue-specific spatial organization of genomes," Genome Biology, vol. 5, URL

2004: Philip G. McQueen and F. Ellis McKenzie, "Age-structured red blood cell susceptibility and the dynamics of malaria infections," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 101, pp. 1961-1966.

1998: Seth R. Goldstein, Philip G. McQueen, and Robert F. Bonner, "Thermal modeling of Laser Capture Microdissection," Applied Optics, vol. 37, pp. 7378- 7391.


Philip G. McQueen
Mathematical and Statistical Computing Laboratory
Center for Information Technology
National Institutes of Health
Bldg 12A, Rm. 2003
Bethesda, MD 20892-5620
Tel: (301) 594-2901
Fax: (301) 402-4544

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Last updated: August 26, 2008

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