NeuroML, Dr. Sharon Crook
Biography: Dr. Crook earned her PhD in Applied Mathematics at the University of Maryland at College Park and performed her dissertation research with John Rinzel at the Mathematical Research Branch of the National Institutes of Health where she developed coupled oscillator models for cortical dynamics in collaboration with Bard Ermentrout at the University of Pittsburgh. She then held a postdoctoral appointment at the Center for Computational Biology at Montana State University with John Miller and Gwen Jacobs, where she did joint work in neurophysiology, modeling, and neuroinformatics. Dr. Crook now holds a joint appointment between the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, where she uses computational approaches to study the dynamics of neurons and neuronal networks and the mechanisms underlying plasticity due to trauma, learning, or disease. Dr. Crook also contributes to the development of NeuroML, an international effort to create a common standard for describing computational models for neuroscience research.
Synopsis: Computational models provide a framework for integrating data across spatial scales and for exploring hypotheses about the biological mechanisms underlying neuronal and network dynamics. However, as models increase in complexity, additional barriers emerge to the creation, exchange, and re-use of models. Successful projects have created standards for describing complex models in neuroscience and provide open source tools to address these issues. Here I provide an overview of these projects and make a case for expanded use of resources in support of reproducibility and validation of models against experimental data.
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