Meagan C. Herald, Ph.D.

Maj. Meagan C. Herald
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Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Computer Science
429 Mallory Hall |  Ph: 540-464-7684  |  HeraldMC@vmi.edu  
 

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Research Interests

Meagan Herald is an applied mathematician trained in mathematical biology, whose research uses mathematical models to understand the mechanisms of chronic respiratory inflammation.  Several respiratory diseases result in respiratory inflammation even though these diseases have different origins.  For instance patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) , a genetic disorder , or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), often associated with environmental causes, suffer from chronic respiratory inflammation [1, 2, 3, 4].  Inflammation scars the respiratory tissue reducing the health of the individual.  Patients with these diseases often succumb due to respiratory problems.  Using nonlinear differential equations, Herald creates realistic models which are based on the underlying biology and immunology.  Analysis of these models uses various techniques such as bifurcation and stability analysis as well as numerical simulations.  Understanding the mathematical models leads to biological predictions that may help explain behaviors of the system, help researchers focus experiments, or even suggest possible therapeutic targets.

  1. V. DeRose.  Mechanisms and markers of airway inflammation in cystic fibrosis.  European Respiratory Journal, 19:333-340, 2002.
  2. R. O’Donnell, D. Breen, S. Wilson, and R. Djukanovic.  Inflammatory cells in the airways in COPD.  Thorax, 61:448-454, 2006.
  3. R. Tirouvanziam, S. de Bentzmann, C, Hubeau, J. Hinnrasky, J. Jacquot, B. Peault, and E. Puchelle.  Inflammation and infection in naïve human cystic fibrosis airway grafts.  American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, 23:121-127, 2000.
  4. J. B. West.  Pulmonary Pathophysiology: The Essentials.  Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, sixth edition, 2003.

Education

Ph.D. - University of Utah
M.S. - University of Utah
B.S. - Metro State College of Denver