The life sciences and medicine are undergoing a major paradigm shift, which is radically changing their interface with all other scientific disciplines, including mathematics. This paradigm shift hinges (in particular) on two important elements. First, on mathematical modeling, which is becoming a key tool for analysis, forecasting, and integration in biology and medicine. Secondly, on recent advances in biotechnology, which are enabling biologists and doctors to access very big data sets requiring sophisticated statistical processing techniques. In mathematics throughout the world, this scientific revolution is expressed by the appearance of teams and training programs in a new, emerging branch of mathematics at the interface of biology, the life sciences, and medicine. Considering the great need and the level of international competition, mathematics and statistics for the life sciences remain underused in France. In particular, there is a growing need for statisticians and modelers in R&D teams in the biopharmaceutical and food-processing industries.
"Mathematics for the Life Sciences" provides cross-disciplinary training in applied mathematics for the life sciences, including stochastic and deterministic modeling, statistical, and numerical aspects. It also includes an elective seminar on current research in the life sciences (biology, ecology, and medicine). The main aim is to train young mathematicians able to develop innovative mathematical responses to complex problems identified by the life sciences. This final specialization is run mainly by the Université Paris-Sud, ENS Cachan, the École Polytechnique, and AgroParistech.
This degree program leads to openings in academia and industry. The trainings aims to give students the best possible preparation for a PhD at the interface of mathematics and the life sciences. These PhDs can be done in public, semi-public or private laboratories, and lead to carers in academia (higher education, CNRS, INRA, INSERM, CEA, IRSTEA, etc.), institutions (health safety, epidemiological surveillance, or healthcare services), or industry (biopharmaceuticals, healthcare, and food processing).
The training program also aims to produce graduates able to start work after their M2, especially as biostatisticians/statistician-engineers, which are in great demand (by CROs, IT services and engineering companies, innovative biotechnology SMEs, big pharmaceutical and food processing groups, etc.).
The quality of the applied mathematics and large-scale statistics training also enables students to access jobs in mathematics that are unrelated to the life sciences, especially in big data (internet, business analytics, etc.), production optimization (resource management, price setting, etc.), e-marketing, product-design modeling, etc.
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