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Michael A. Henson

Professor

Research areas focus on system-scale spatiotemporal models with applications to microbial communities and neural networks involved in human health and disease processes. Our current activities associated with the Models to Medicine theme include multispecies bacterial biofilms responsible for chronic wound infections and circadian neural networks responsible for daily timekeeping in humans. In each case, collaborators investigate system behavior through in vitro experimental models and we develop multicellular models to rationalize, quantify, predict and manipulate system behavior. We expect our integrated experimental-computational approach to generate new antibiotic treatment regimens for chronic wound infections and novel chronotherapies for circadian and sleep related disorders.

Current Research
Projects related to Models to Medicine theme include:

  1. Genome-scale modeling of multispecies biofilms with temporal and spatial resolution to unravel biofilm design principles and to develop model-based antibiotic treatment protocols for chronic wound infections.
  2. Multicellular modeling of the mammalian circadian clock with cellular and network heterogeneities to better understand intracellular design strategies and to develop model-based chronotherapies for circadian and sleep related disorders.

Learn more at www.ecs.umass.edu/che/henson_group/

Academic Background

  • BS Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1985
  • MS Chemical Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, 1988
  • PhD Chemical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1992
Kingsbury, N. J., S. R. Taylor and M. A. Henson, “Inhibitory and Excitatory Networks Balance Cell Coupling in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus: A Modeling Approach,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 397, 135-144, doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2016.02.039 (2016).
Henson, M. A. and P. Phalak, “Byproduct Cross Feeding and Community Stability in an In Silico Biofilm Model of the Gut Microbiome,'' Processes, 5, 13, doi:10.3390/pr5010013 (2017).
Noguchi, T., T. Leise, N. Kingsbury, T. Diemer, L. Wang, M. A. Henson, and D. Welsh, “Calcium Circadian Rhythmicity in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus: Cell Autonomy and Network Modulation,” eNeuro, doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0160-17 (2017).
Henson, M. A. and P. Phalak, “Microbiota Dysbiosis in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: In silico Investigation of the Oxygen Hypothesis,” BMC Systems Biology, 11, 145, doi: 10.1186/s12918-017-0522-1 (2017).
Carlson, R. P., A. E. Beck, P. Phalak W. W. Fields, T. Gedeon, L. Hanley, W. S. Harcombe, M. A. Henson and J. J. Heys, “Competitive Resource Allocation to Metabolic Pathways Contributes to Overflow Metabolisms and Emergent Properties in Cross Feeding Microbial Consortia,” Biochemical Society Transactions, 26, 269-284, doi: 10.1042/BST2017024 (2018).
 
Contact Info

Department of Chemical Engineering
N527 Life Science Laboratory
240 Thatcher Way
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 545-3481
henson@ecs.umass.edu

www.ecs.umass.edu/che/henson_group/