The scientific focus of the BNMC is Computational Morphodynamics. Computational Morphodynamics may be defined as the study of the three-way interaction of physical, informational, and geometrical processes that influence the changing form, shape, and structure of living cells, tissues and organisms. Some of the scientific questions addressed include:
- How is the morphology of organisms specified, and how does that specification evolve?
- How do mechanics, cell growth, and cell division affect morphology?
- How do biochemical and informational processes determine the major changes in the morphology of living organisms?
- What sort of physics is necessary to describe morphological development, and how does it feed back into biochemical processes?
- What sort of computational and mathematical resources are necessary to really understand morphology, morphological development, and morphological dynamics?
- Can we design and build synthetic systems that mimic morphological development?
Computational Morphodynamics lies at the cutting edge of developmental biology. However, many of the tools and techniques that it utilizes are widely applicable to many fields of biology. Examples include image analysis, including segmentation, tracking, and noise filtering; development of quantitative models; simulation; parameter estimation as well as many other important tools and techniques.