Paula Vasquez



Education
Ph.D.  Mathematical Sciences  University of Delaware  2007 
MBA  Business Administration  Goldey Beacom College  2002 
B.S.  Petroleum Engineering  Universidad Nacional de Colombia  1998 
Experience
2013 – Present  Assistant Professor  Department of Mathematics, University of South Carolina 
2013 – 2010  Postdoctoral Fellow  Department of Mathematics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 
2009 – 2007  Postdoctoral Fellow  Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware 
2007 – 2004  Research Assistant  Department of Mathematics, University of Delaware 
2004 – 2002  Teaching Assistant / Instructor  Department of Mathematics, University of Delaware 
Research
Research Interests
Applied and computational mathematics
 Multiscale modeling and simulation of viscoelastic fluid flows
 Viscoelastic and diffusive transport processes in pulmonary mucus and mucus simulants
 Computational and mathematical biology
 Modeling the organization and distribution of chromosomes in yeast cells
Current Projects

Inverse characterization of complex fluids. In this project, we are developing computer simulations and constitutive models to describe the flow of mucus in cell cultures. This description involves the introduction of multiple time and length scales, as well as the use of constitutive equations that consider multiple species. This project is in collaboration with Greg Forest in the Math Department at UNC and David Hill in the Cystic Fibrosis Research Center at UNC.

Characterization of microheterogeneities in biological materials. Biological materials continuously adapt to changing conditions through coordinated mechanical and molecular responses. In many cases, this adaptation results in variations in the local viscous and elastic properties. Characterization of these microheterogeneities is important in the understanding of the underlying biological functions. This project is in collaboration with Greg Forest in the Math Department at UNC, David Hill in the Cystic Fibrosis Research Center at UNC, and Scott McKinley in the Math Department at UFL. The main objective of the project is to characterize (nonparametrically) spatial and temporal heterogeneities.

Modeling mitotic spindle in budding yeast cells. During cell division, once each pair of replicated chromosomes biorients, the linkage between the sister chromatids is broken and the spindle physically pulls the sisters to opposite poles. The small size of the yeast nucleus makes it difficult to visualize directly the steps involved in this chromosome segregation. Because of this, there is a need for the formulation of mathematical models capable of capturing the different biochemical, structural, and biophysical aspects that play a key role during cell division. This project is in collaboration with Greg Forest in the Math Department at UNC and Kerry Bloom in the Biology Department at UNC. The objective is to formulate, analyze, and simulate 3D models of cell division.

Beadspring models of chromatin in budding yeast cells. It is hypothesized that the organization of chromosomes within the nucleus into territories dictates chromosome interactions. Understanding chromosome interactions plays a central role in the study of processes like DNA repair and gene expression. This project is in collaboration with Greg Forest in the Math Department at UNC and Kerry Bloom in the Biology Department at UNC. Our main objective is to formulate models capable of describing chromosome dynamics in vivo and use these models to gain insights into how chromosomes are organized and the mechanisms responsible for chromosome distribution during the life of a cell.
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Teaching Activities
Current Courses
 MATH 728  Selected Topics in Applied Mathematics
 MATH 141  Calculus I
Previous Courses
 MATH 141  Calculus I
 MATH 520  Ordinary Differential Equations
 MATH 544  Linear Algebra
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5 Selected Publications
 P.A. Vasquez, J.A. Cribb, P. Moore, S. Norris, S. Shah, M.G. Forest and R. Superfine, "Nonlinear Signatures of Entangled Polymer Solutions in Active Microbead Rheology," Journal of Rheology. v 57 pp 12471264, 2013.
 P.A. Vasquez, Y. Jin, K. Vuong, D.B. Hill and M.G. Forest. "A New Twist on Stokes' Second Problem: Partial Penetration of Nonlinearity in Sheared Viscoelastic Layers," J. NonNewtonian Fluid Mech. v. 196, pp 3650, 2013.
 A.D. Stephens, R.A. Haggerty, P.A. Vasquez, L. Vicci, C.E. Snider, F. Shih, C. Quammen, C. Mullins, J. Haase, R.M. Taylor II, J.S. Verdaasdonk, M.R. Falvo, Y. Jin, M.G. Forest and K. Bloom. "Cohesin and Condensin form Loops of Pericentric Chromatin into a Nonlinear Spring Network to Balance MicrotubuleBased Force in Mitosis," The Journal of Cell Biology, 193(7), 11671180, 2013.
 P.A. Vasquez, L.P. Cook and G.H. McKinley, "Wormlike Micellar Solutions: A Scission Model and Predictions," J. NonNewtonian Fluid Mechanics. v. 144, no. 23, pp 122 139, 2007.
 J.W. Swan, P.A. Vasquez, P.A. Whitson, E.M. Fincke, K. Wakata, S.H. Magnus, F.D. Winne, M.R. Barratt, .H. Agui J, R.D. Green, N.R. Hall, D.Y. Bohman, C.T. Bunnell, A.P. Gast and E.M. Furst, "Multiscale kinetics of a fielddirected colloidal phase transition," PNAS v. 109, pp 1602316028, 2012.
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IMI Preprints and Seminars
IMI Seminars
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