Starting this Fall 2023 semester, Florida Atlantic University alumnus Jorge Gonzalez, ’20, is returning to the Boca Raton campus as a postdoctoral fellow. The former Owl, who received his Ph.D. in Mathematics, will be working with Charles E. Schmidt College of Science Dean Valery Forbes, Ph.D., as part of an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional study funded by the National Science Foundation’s Rules of Life Program. The goal of the project is to understand the rules by which living cells maintain their function as external conditions change.
In particular, they will study the emergence of mechanisms that preserve homeostasis in cells of mammals under changes in glucose, temperature, and oxygen conditions and monitor physiological, morphological, and epigenetic responses. While some species evolved a strict homeostasis like humans, other species, such as camels and deep-diving mammals, permit a wide variation of internal conditions (e.g., body temperature, blood oxygen levels) in response to their respective environments.
“Not only are the questions explored in this project paramount in biology, but they offer the opportunity to integrate many fields in mathematics, statistics, and the biological sciences,” shared Gonzalez. “I am very excited to apply my mathematical education and creativity to such an important problem.”
Prior to accepting his postdoctoral position at FAU, Gonzalez was a visiting assistant professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta.
Ever since childhood, Gonzalez has been attracted to the sciences and mathematics. He double majored in mathematics and physics as an undergraduate, which led him to pursue graduate studies in applied mathematics.
“I am fascinated by the beautiful complexity in nature just as much as the abstract mathematical constructions that help us understand and appreciate it more,” expressed Gonzalez.
As a Ph.D. student, Gonzalez shared that he had fantastic mentors in the Schmidt College of Science’s Department of Mathematical Sciences, including his Ph.D. advisors Jason Mireles-James, Ph.D., Associate Professor, and Necibe Tuncer, Ph.D., Professor, among many others.
“They patiently taught me and helped me develop the mathematics skills necessary for this project, as well as prepared me for a career as a researcher,” said Gonzalez. “I am incredibly grateful for my years as a student at FAU, and I look forward to working with Dr. Forbes on this exciting new project.”