Thembi Mdluli

Thembi Mdluli Profile Picture
Computational Life Sciences

Mentor / Lab:
Ann Rundell Laboratory

Specific Research Area / Project:
Control Theory Applied to Stem Cell Differentiation and Model based design of experiments

Undergraduate Institution:
Johns Hopkins University

Research Profile:

My current research study is to design a model based design of experiment (MBDOE) algorithm that utilizes Matlab Sparse Grid Toolbox. MBDOE methods use mathematical models for biological system to inform experimental processes so that maximal information can be extracted from a biological system. The objective is to reduce model output uncertainties due to uncertain model parameters by designing and evaluating experiments that increase knowledge about the model. The sparse grid tool used is for computational efficiency.

The other part of the research will be to design a control method to direct stem cell fate choice for the differentiation that could be experimentally validated. This will have a bigger impact in the systems biology field and tissue engineering, especially for cancer therapies and tissue regeneration.

About Me:

Thembi Mdluli About Me Picture

I conduct research in the medical field with a concentration in mathematical modeling and control, a field I had been interested in since my undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins. After graduating from Hopkins, I sought experience in a research laboratory at the National Institutes of Health before coming to Purdue.

I just finished my first year at Purdue, and feel like I have learned a lot. I have so far enjoyed being part of the Computational Life Science Interdisciplinary Program, because it merges my areas of interest; biology and mathematics. The program comes with many opportunities for learning about the vast interdisciplinary research other people are doing both here at Purdue and outside. I have especially enjoyed the opportunity to be able to present my research to other people and get feedback regarding improvements.


  • Certificate of Excellence in Computational Life Sciences (CLS) Research, April 1 2013.
  • Certificate of Excellence in Computational Life Sciences (CLS) Research, April 4 2012.
  • Lynn Fellowship for Computational Life Science, Purdue University 2011-2012.
  • Whiting School of Engineering Convocation Awards 2009, Linda Trinh Memorial Award for the 2008-2009 academic year.


  • Snapin Mediates Incretin Action and Augments Glucose-Dependent Insulin Secretion: Woo-Jin Song, Madhav Seshadri, Uzair Ashraf, Thembi Mdluli, Prosenjit Mondal, Meg Keil, Monalisa Azevedo, Lawrence S. Kirschner, Constantine A. Stratakis and Mehboob A. Hussain


  • Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs (OIGP) Spring Reception, 2012: Sparse-grid-based Experiment Design Method to Reduce System Dynamics Uncertainty in Nonlinear Biological Models
  • NIH Post baccalaureate Poster Presentation 2011: Respiratory syncytial virus reference immunoglobulin for use in quantitative virus neutralization assays

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