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Join us for the 4th Annual Symposium on Multiscale Cell Fate

October 28 – 29, 2021

The NSF-Simons Center for Mulitscale Cell Fate Research (CMCF) is pleased to announce that its 2021 Annual Symposium will be held on October 28 – 29, 2021, at the Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering located at UC Irvine.

This Symposium will focus on emergent properties of cell fate and provide several opportunities for initiating collaborations between young researchers across disciplines, including a competition for the Interdisciplinary Opportunity Award program to support collaborative projects.

The symposium invites submission of abstracts for posters or/and contributed talks.

Register here to attend the symposium in-person or via live stream.

COVID-19 Information
***Beginning October 4th, The Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering will require all visitors to be fully vaccinated before entering any of their facilities.***
Please Read UCI COVID-19 Visitor Guidance.

Igor Adameyko, Ph.D., Medical University of Vienna




Richard Carthew, Ph.D., Northwestern University, Director of the NSF-Simons Center for Quantitative Biology



Fei Chen, Ph.D., Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard




Tim Downing, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine




Stacey Finley, Ph.D., University of Southern California




Greg Forest, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill




Christine Heitsch, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, Director of the Southeast Center for Mathematics and Biology



Manolis Kellis, Ph.D., MIT




Denise Kirschner, Ph.D., University of Michigan




Sarah Millar, Ph.D., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai




José N. Onuchic, Ph.D., Rice University




Maksim Plikus, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine




April Pyle, Ph.D.,University of California, Los Angeles




Stanislav Y. Shvartsman , Ph.D., Princeton University

 Thursday, 10/28/2021
07:30 – 08:25Breakfast
08:25 – 08:30Opening Address
Session 1Session Chair – Xing Dai
08:30 – 09:15Complex and redundant mechanisms control hair follicle patterning – Sarah Millar
09:15 – 10:00Signaling Networks of Hair Follicles Across Spatial Scales – Maksim Plikus
10:00 – 10:05Interdisciplinary Opportunity Award (IOA) Announcement 
10:05 – 10:30Coffee break
Session 2 Session Chair – Elizabeth Read
10:30 – 11:15Modeling Insights Into Sars-Cov-2 Respiratory Tract Infections – Greg Forest 
11:15 – 12:00Molecular Analysis of Progenitor and Stem Cell States Across Human Development and Skeletal Muscle – April Pyle
12:00 – 01:30Lunch & Break
Session 3Session Chair – Christopher Miles 
01:30 – 02:15From Genomics to Therapeutics: Single-Cell Dissection and Manipulation of Disease Circuitry – Manolis Kellis
02:15 – 03:00Predicting Heterogeneity, Adaptation and Invasion in the Tumor Ecosystem – Stacey Finley
03:00 – 03:20Coffee break
03:20 – 05:00IOA Talks and Contributed Short Talks
05:00 – 06:00Poster Session and Reception
06:00 – 08:00Dinner
 Friday, 10/29/2021
08:00 – 08:30Breakfast
Session 1Session Chair – Michelle Digman
08:30 – 09:15Elucidating Cancer Metabolic Flexibility: When Genetic and Metabolic States Converge – Jose Onuchic
09:15 – 10:00Dynamics of a Transcriptional Brake – Stanislav Y. Shvartsman 
10:00 – 10:30Coffee Break & Poster Session
Session 2 Session Chair – Thomas Schilling
10:30 – 11:15The Structure of Pre-bifurcation States in Cell Fate Decisions During the Progression of the Neural Crest Lineage  – Igor Adameyko
11:15 – 12:00Next Generation Tools for Tissue Genomics – Fei Chen
12:00 – 01:30Lunch & Break
Session 3Session Chair – Jun Allard
01:30 – 02:15Exploring the Impact of Genome Replication on Regulatory Variation and Epigenetic Drift Throughout the Lifespan – Tim Downing
02:15 – 04:00IOA Talks and Contributed Short Talks 
04:00 – 04:15IOA Abstract Due, and Adjourn  

Contributed and IOA Talks

 Thursday, 10/28/2021
03:20 – 03:35Long-Term Dna Recording With Ordered Insertion Mutations – Theresa Loveless
03:35 – 03:50Inhibition of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase During Spontaneous Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Modulates Colony Self-Organization – Arina Nikitina
03:50 – 04:05Utilizing Stochasticity to Disambiguate Underlying Biological Mechanisms – Linh Huynh
04:05 – 04:20IOA #1: Identifying Gene Network Motifs Within Stochastically Transitioning Melanocyte Subclusters – Junhao Guo and Michael Caldwell
04:20 – 04:35IOA #2: Region-Specific Amino Acid Metabolic Activities in Cutaneous Wounds – Remy Vu and Johnny Le
04:35 – 04:50Learning the Interactions Driving Collective Motion in the Mitotic Spindle – Christopher Miles
 Friday, 10/29/2021
02:15 – 02:30IOA #4: Understanding How the Dynamic Mechanical Environment of The
Heart Affects the Organization and Viability of Cardiac Cells – Ali Hetta and Richard Tran
02:30 – 02:45IOA #3: Data Driven Mathematical Modeling of Single-Cell Gene Regulatory Dynamics in Alzheimer’s Disease – Sohyeon Park and Samuel Morabito
02:45 – 03:00Single-Cell Parameter Inference of Calcium Pathway Models – Xiaojun Wu
03:00 – 03:15Dissecting Transition Cells From Single-Cell Transcriptome Data Through Multiscale Stochastic Dynamics  – Peijie Zhou
03:15 – 03:30Can Stochastic Fluctuations in Cell Cooperation Contribute to Carcinogenesis? – Michael Caldwell
03:30 – 03:45Effects of Circuit-Host Interactions on Cell Fates and Control – Xiaojun Tian
03:45 – 04:00Spectral and Lifetime Imaging for the Physiological Profiling of Living Cells – Lorenzo Scipioni

Click here to see the complete symposium program!

Research at the interface is most powerful when it is driven by collaborations of young researchers given sufficient resources and a fast timeline. We therefore present the Interdisciplinary Opportunity Award program for new, short-term (one-year) collaborative projects driven by trainees (graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, not PIs).

At the Annual Center Symposium, a topic will be announced. Self-selected teams of interested junior researchers need to produce short abstract-like proposals by the end of the Symposium. The teams must be comprised of members from at least two cross-disciplinary labs (from either mathematical sciences or experimental labs), with at least one group of each team from UCI. A preliminary proposal is due by the end of the Symposium. Full proposals (<3pages) must be submitted within two weeks, which will then be evaluated quickly (~2 weeks) by a Center committee. The winning teams will receive $10,000 to support the collaborative project over one year, and  will attend the Center Early-Career Researcher Symposium and next year’s Annual Symposium on Multiscale Cell Fate, scheduled for April 2022 and October 2022 respectively, to present their results. Winning proposals are selected for their ambition, their feasibility (within a year), and their potential to lead to lasting long-term collaborations.

  • A topic will be announced at the 2021 Annual Symposium.
  • Form a self-selected team with other early-career researchers (graduate students, postdocs, undergraduate students). The teams must include members from at least two labs, who are on different sides of the mathematical and experimental spectrum (very broadly interpreted), and at least one member from UCI.
  • A short abstract-like pre-proposal is due by the end of the Symposium on Friday, October 29th, 2021 at 4:30pm. It should be e-mailed to with subject “2021 IOA” and must include the following information:
    1. Team member names and affiliations,
    2. PI names and affiliations,
    3. Project title,
    4. Brief project description
  • Full proposals (<3pages) must be submitted by November 15, 2021(see details below), and will then be carefully evaluated.
  • PIs must send an e-mail acknowledging support before winning teams are awarded.
  • The winning teams will be informed by the end of November via email.
  • Winning teams will receive a budget of $10,000 for research expenses to support the collaborative project over one year. For example, this may include travel between the collaborating institutions, or experimental consumables. Some restrictions apply; please contact for more information.
  • The funds must be expended within the year. We emphasize fast project result generation!
  • The winning teams are required to:
    1. present a “work-in-progress” talk at the Center’s Early-Career Researcher Symposium, scheduled for April 2022. At least one team member must therefore attend, although all team members are encouraged to do so. And,
    2. all team members must attend and present their final results at the next year’s Annual Symposium on Multiscale Cell Fate, tentatively scheduled for October 2022.

After submitting a pre-proposal, the next step is the submission of the full 3-page proposal. This proposal should include:

  • Names of participants, their career stage (grad student, postdoc, etc), their institutional affiliations, and their PI names,
  • The project title, which matches the title from the pre-proposal,
  • A project description including its significance.

A rough budget is not required in the proposal, but you are welcome to include one if you wish.

Separately, the PIs involved (thesis advisors for PhD students) must send an e-mail acknowledging their support for the proposal. This can be very brief (for example, “I support STUDENT NAME’s IOA proposal.”). If the PI is committing resources, e.g., lab equipment or computing cluster time, this should be mentioned in their e-mail of support too.

These items should be e-mailed to with subject “2021 IOA.”

The deadline for the full proposal is Monday, November 15th at midnight. Winners will be informed by November 31st.

John Wayne Airport (SNA)
John Wayne Airport is located just 4 miles from UC Irvine. Most major carriers service this airport.
Long Beach Airport (LGB)
Long Beach Regional Airport is located approximately 25 miles from UC Irvine. Jet Blue Airlines and Southwest Airlines are the primary carriers who service LGB.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Los Angeles International Airport is So. California’s major hub which serves as the international airport of choice. LAX is located approx. 40 miles from UC Irvine. All major carriers service this airport.

Ayres Hotel and Suites – Costa Mesa

325 Bristol, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
800-322-9992 (Sales Fax: 714-549-3741)

UCI 2021 Rate: $109 for Deluxe Guestroom (single/double occupancy).   Reservations can be made online here.

  • Complimentary Wireless Internet Access in guestroom & public areas
  • Complimentary Freshly baked cookies in lobby each evening
  • Complimentary self parking
  • Shuttle to/from John Wayne Airport and UCI (subject to availability)

Atrium Hotel – Irvine

18700 MacArthur Blvd., Irvine, CA 92612

949-833-2770 (Fax: 949-757-0330)

Tracy Newton, Director of Sales
949-428-3790 or

UCI 2021 Rate: $109. For online bookings, visit and enter promo code “UCI”


  • Wi-Fi in all guestrooms & public spaces of the hotel
  • Self Parking
  • Local telephone calls

Sonesta Irvine – Orange County Airport

17941 Von Karman Ave, Irvine, CA 92614
949-863-1999 (Fax: 949-471-1254)

UCI 2021 Rate: $145 (Sunday-Thursday nights), $115 (Friday & Saturday nights, breakfast not included)   

Sonesta Irvine -University of California-booking link

Rate includes the following:

  • Complimentary Daily Breakfast buffet for one per day (valid only on Monday-Friday mornings)
  • Complimentary Wireless Internet
  • Complimentary Self-Parking
  • Complimentary access to business center
  • Complimentary Shuttle to/from John Wayne Airport
  • Distance from UCI – 3 miles

Sonesta Simply Suites Orange County – Spectrum Center

16150 Sand Canyon Ave; Irvine, CA 92618
949-788-0500 (Fax: 949-788-0566)

Karen Egan, Director of Sales

UCI 2021 Rate: Studio Suite: $115; One Bedroom Suite: $139 (additional discounts for 7 or more nights).  

  • Complimentary high speed wireless internet
  • Complimentary laundry facilities
  • Complimentary fitness center on property
  • Complimentary parking
  • Fully equipped kitchens
  • Weekly housekeeping service
  • Complimentary 24-hour coffee

SpringHill Suites – by Marriott Irvine, John Wayne Airport

17601 Fitch, Irvine, CA 92614
949-757-0500 (Fax: 949-757-0535)

Alane Millar, Director of Sales
(949) 757-0500

UCI Rate: Rates vary based upon availability. Use Corporate/Promotional Code:  UC0

  • 3.5 Miles from UCI
  • Rate includes breakfast
  • wireless and wired internet included in rate
  • Self Parking included in rate
  • Rate is Last Room Availability

Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

1107 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660

For individual guest room reservations, please follow these instructions:

  • Please visit:
  • Input your desired dates
  • Click on Special Rates, then Corporate or Group Code and enter:  CR20258
  • You will see the UCI rate appear – click on the UCI rate tab and book your rooms.

UCI 2021 Rate inclusions:

  • Waived resort fees
  • $15 Breakfast Credit at the Lobby Coffee Bar
  • 72 Hour Cancellation policy

Click here to see more local hotels with UCI rates.

Travel awards are offered to help offset the costs of attending the meeting.


  1. Graduate students who are currently enrolled full-time for a post-graduate degree – M.S. or Ph.D., or
  2. Postdoctoral researchers.

Email the following materials to CMCF by September 15, 2021:

  1. Use “2021 Symposium Travel Award” for email subject
  2. Name
  3. Affiliation
  4. A brief statement describing why you are applying for a travel award
  5. Nomination letter – may be written by a professor, advisor, mentor, employer, or director of the department.
The awardees are determined after review of application materials. Priority is given to support gender diversity, under-represented minority groups, or those with disabilities. Awardees will be notified of further rules, such as airline restrictions, upon offer of award.