SIAM News Blog

Honoring Reginald McGee

In honor of Black History Month, SIAM is spotlighting Black mathematicians throughout February. SIAM member Dr. Reginald McGee is a tenure-track assistant professor at College of the Holy Cross. He studies mathematical immunobiology and develops mathematical models and data analysis methods to address questions of interest.

Education and Awards

Dr. McGee graduated from Florida A&M University in 2009 with a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences and went on to complete his Ph.D. in Mathematics at Purdue University in 2015. Under the supervision of Dr. Gregery T. Buzzard, his dissertation considered deterministic modeling of B cell antigen receptor signaling pathways and model-based design of experiments.

In 2015, Dr. McGee was awarded a three year postdoctoral fellowship to continue his training at the Mathematical Biosciences Institute and the Department of Biomedical Informatics at The Ohio State University (OSU). While at OSU, he was also a Professional Advancement Initiative Postdoctoral Scholar through the Big Ten Academic Alliance, which provided him with local and external mentorship as well as conference travel funding. Dr. McGee was selected as a fellow for the 2018 cohort of the MAA Project NExT professional development initiative, where he was first introduced to inclusive practices for undergraduate education and which aided his transition into being a teacher-scholar at a liberal arts institution. In 2019 he was awarded a Batchelor Ford Foundation Summer Faculty Fellowship from College of the Holy Cross to continue research collaborations at OSU.

As of fall 2020, Dr. McGee is also an editor for the Society of Mathematical Biology (SMB) Newsletter and the Education Subgroup’s liaison to the SMB Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee.

Research Focus

Dr. McGee is a mathematical biologist who works with both computational modeling and the analysis of complex data. A central biological theme of his work has been the impact of intracellular signaling on cell behavior and he has an interest in immunobiology and blood diseases such as leukemia and sickle cell anemia. Additionally, he is interested in the synergistic interplay between models and data, for instance, model-based design of experiments, where existing models are leveraged to collect new data in order to reduce dynamic uncertainty.

As a postdoc, Dr. McGee worked with Dr. Kevin R. Coombes in OSU Biomedical Informatics and Dr. Gregory K. Behbehani in OSU Hematology to develop methods for detecting significant protein interactions within single cell acute myeloid leukemia data. This data analysis inspired a collaboration with Dr. Adriana T. Dawes in OSU Math and Molecular Genetics to utilize approaches from informatics to classify the range of possible behaviors produced by a dynamical system model for intracellular signaling in roundworm epithelial cells.

Dr. McGee first joined SIAM as a student chapter member in 2011 and attended his first SIAM Conference in 2015, where he presented a research poster at the SIAM Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems. He has since given research talks at the SIAM Conference on the Life Sciences in 2016 and the Workshop Celebrating Diversity at the SIAM Annual Meeting in 2017.

Recent Happenings

Dr. McGee is currently on a pre-tenure research leave, serving as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) for the 2020-2021 academic year. He is remotely visiting Drs. Angela M. Reynolds and Rebecca A. Segal and their research groups. During his visit, they have formed a collaboration with Dr. Cecelia R. Valrie in VCU Health Psychology to create mathematical models of pain episode onset in pediatric sickle cell patients. In addition to his research partnerships, he will be speaking in the VCU Biomathematics seminar this semester and has enjoyed attending the VCU Mathematics Education seminars this year.

During his leave, Dr. McGee is also continuing efforts to broaden the participation of historically underserved groups in K-16 mathematics and to promote career and graduate school opportunities. This spring, he has been able to speak with middle school students at the Nativity School of Worcester virtually as a mock interviewer during a networking event and will be returning next month to discuss Fibonacci numbers. In the fall he spoke on a “Career and Pathways” panel at the Mathematics - Opportunities in Research and Education conference; during the “Preparing for your First Faculty Position” session at the Math Alliance Field of Dreams conference; and discussed his trajectory and undergraduate research opportunities in the Pipeline Engagement Colloquium at his undergraduate institution.

Dr. McGee, thank you for your work in mathematical immunobiology and educating the next generation of mathematicians.

blog comments powered by Disqus