Section: Research Program
Mixed-effect models and statistical approaches
Most of biological and medical data our team has to deal with consist in time series of experimental measurements (cell counts, gene expression level, etc.). The intrinsic variability of any biological system complicates its confrontation to models. The trivial use of means, eliminating the data variance, is but a second-best solution. Furthermore, the amount of data that can be experimentally generated often limits the use of classical mathematical approaches because model’s identifiability or parameter identifiability cannot be obtained. In order to overcome this issue and to efficiently take advantage of existing and available data, we plan to use mixed effect models for various applications (for instance: leukemia treatment modeling, immune response modeling). Such models were initially developed to account for individual behaviors within a population by characterizing distributions of parameter values instead of a unique parameter value. We plan to use those approaches both within that frame (for example, taking into account longitudinal studies on different patients, or different mice) but also to extend its validity in a different context: we will consider different ex vivo experiments as being “different individuals”: this will allow us to make the most of the experience-to-experience variations.
Such approaches need expertise in statistics to be correctly implemented, and we will rely on the presence of Céline Vial in the team to do so. Céline Vial is an expert in applied statistics and her experience already motivated the use of better statistical methods in various research themes. The increasing use of single cell technologies in biology make such approaches necessary and it is going to be critical for the project to acquire such skills.