As of January 15, 2014, Roeland Merks of the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam was appointed Professor Multiscale Mathematical Biology at the Mathematical Institute in Leiden. The Mathematical Institute is positioned at the Faculty of Sciences of Leiden University. It concerns a part-time appointment for one day a week.
Merks will focus his research and education on strengthening the link between mathematics and experimental biology. Mathematics is increasingly important to understand the complexity of biological systems. By applying simulation techniques that combine models of cell behavior and tissue mechanics with models of genetic networks, the interplay between genes, cells and tissues during biological development can be better understood.
Next to his appointment in Leiden, Merks continues four days a week his research at CWI where he works on multiscale modeling of biological developmental processes, including blood vessel growth and plant growth. At CWI Merks is also theme coordinator Life Sciences. In this position he works on the development of new partnerships with the industry.
Additionally, Merks is active as vice-president of the European Society for Mathematical and Theoretical Biology (ESMTB), member of the Life Sciences Advisory Board of the Lorentz Center in Leiden, and academic editor of the scientific journal PLoS ONE.