Quantitative Modeling in Cell Biology: What Is It Good for?

Alex Mogilner, Roy Wollman, Wallace F. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recently, there has been a surge in the number of pioneering studies combining experiments with quantitative modeling to explain both relatively simple modules of molecular machinery of the cell and to achieve system-level understanding of cellular networks. Here we discuss the utility and methods of modeling and review several current models of cell signaling, cytoskeletal self-organization, nuclear transport, and the cell cycle. We discuss successes of and barriers to modeling in cell biology and its future directions, and we argue, using the field of bacterial chemotaxis as an example, that the closer the complete systematic understanding of cell behavior is, the more important modeling becomes and the more experiment and theory merge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-287
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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