May 26, 2015

Glenn Webb Honored with Special Issue

Professor Glenn Webb has been honored with the dedication of a special issue of Mathematical Sciences and Bioengineering (MBE). Volume 12, Number 4 (2015) of the journal is dedicated to Webb in honor of his 70th birthday.

MBE is an international research journal focusing on new developments in the fast-growing fields of mathematical biosciences and engineering. According to the preface, the topics of the 12 articles appearing in the special issue honoring Webb “partially represent the broad areas of Glenn’s research interest.” They include
evolutionary dynamics of population growth, spatio-temporal dynamics in reaction-diffusion biological models, transmission dynamics of infectious diseases, modeling of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals, analysis of prion models, age-structured models in ecology and epidemiology, modeling of immune response to infections, and modeling of cancer growth.

The issue opens with two essays: “The Work of Glenn F. Webb,” by William E. Fitzgibbon (Dean, College of Technology, University of Houston and Vanderbilt University PhD in Mathematics) and “Studying Microbiology with Glenn F. Webb,” by Martin J. Blaser (Professor of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine).

Webb, who joined the Vanderbilt Mathematics department in 1968, distinguished himself first as a pioneer in the area of nonlinear accretive operator theory and nonlinear semigroups and evolution operators. His research then turned to mathematical biology, with special interest in the spread of infectious disease and nonlinear population models.

From mathematical biology, which involves the development of general models, Webb moved to research that is more accurately described as biomedical mathematics, which is concerned with specific systems or maladies and is data driven. His continuing biomedical mathematics work is directed towards specific diseases such as HIV, influenza, drug-resistant bacteria, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and, most recently, the Ebola epidemics in West Africa.

The full special issue is available here.