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.

Selected Papers

(For a comprehensive listing of my publications, see my NCBI Pubmed entries.)

2014: Chun-Yuan Ting, Philip G. McQueen, Nishith Pandya, Tzu-Yang Lin, Meiluen Yang, O. Venkateswara Reddy, Michael B. OConnor, Matthew McAuliffe, and Chi-Hon Lee, "Photoreceptor-Derived Activin Promotes Dendritic Termination and Restricts the Receptive Fields of First-Order Interneurons in Drosophila," Neuron, vol. 81, pp. 830-846.

2013: Phililp G. McQueen, Kim C. Williamson, and F. Ellis McKenzie, "Host immune constraints on malaria transmission: insights from population biology of within-host parasites," Malaria Journal, 12:206, URL:

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:


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

Last update: August 14, 2014

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