Disputation: Jonas van den Brink

Doctoral candidate Jonas van den Brink at the Department of informatics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, is defending the thesis Computing Microscopic Structure-Function Relationships in Contraction of the Heart for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.

Picture of the candidate

Photo: Marianne Wåhlberg - www.monsterfoto.no

The PhD defence and trial lecture will be fully digital and streamed directly using Zoom. The host of the session will moderate the technicalities while the chair of the defence will moderate the disputation.

Ex auditorio questions: the chair of the defence will invite the audience to ask ex auditorio questions either written or oral. This can be requested by clicking 'Participants -> Raise hand'. 

Trial lecture

  • Time: 14:00, 17 November 2021
  • Title: "Electrodiffusion modeling of neurons: concepts, models and key challenges"
  • Join the trial lecture

Main research findings

The heart is a vital organ composed of billions of muscle cells. The micro-anatomical structures within these cells are specialized to produce force rapidly and reliably. Especially important are tiny regions in the cell named dyads, which are crucial for coupling electrical excitation of the cell and its contraction. With disease, these dyads become disrupted and broken down, leading to a weaker contraction. However, due to their incredibly small size, it has been hard to quantify how structures change and how changed anatomical architecture affects function. Computational modeling and analysis therefore plays a critical role in furthering our understanding of structure-function relationships in cardiac cells, which in turn is a necessary step towards better treatment for cardiac disease.

In this work, we have developed new tools and techniques for imaging and analyzing cardiac dyads using super-resolution microscopy. This has allowed us to better quantify and understand how dyads change with disease. From microscopy data we also created digital geometries, enabling us to simulate the function of both healthy and disrupted dyads using mathematical modeling. This yielded new insights into structure-function relationships in contraction of the heart, and allowed us to better understand how disease-driven remodeling affects cardiac function.

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Adjudication committee:


  • Senior Investigator Michael Stern, National Institute of Aging, USA
  • Director Eva Rog-Zielinska, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • Professor Ole Christian Lingjærde, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway


  • Adjunct Assistant Professor Andrew G. Edwards, Department of Pharmacology, University of California Davis
  • Researcher William E. Louch, Institute for Experimental Medical Research, Oslo University Hospital and University of Oslo
  • Professor Aslak Tveito, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway / Simula Research Laboratory
  • Associate professor Glenn Terje Lines, Department of Computational Physiology, Simula Research Laboratory
  • Professor Andrew D. McCulloch, Department of Bioengineering, University of California San Diego

Chair of defence

  • Professor Andreas Austeng, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway

Candidate contact information: + 47 45763245

Contact information to Department: Anniken R. Birkelund

Publisert 4. nov. 2021 09:56 - Sist endret 15. nov. 2021 11:41