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Maria-Veronica Ciocanel, Assistant Professor

Maria-Veronica Ciocanel

My research is in mathematical biology, in particular related to questions about protein transport in cells. Understanding how proteins move and organize inside cells is a fundamental question in cell biology, with implications to our knowledge of healthy cell function and proper organism development. I use mathematical modeling, analysis, and simulation to address questions about molecular-motor driven transport and protein filament organization. I use tools drawing from dynamical systems and partial differential equations, stochastic processes, and data analysis. I collaborate with experimental researchers on problems related to messenger RNA localization in oocytes, neurofilament transport in axons, actin-myosin protein interactions, and organization of filaments in neuronal dendrites. 

Up-to-date information about my research can be found here:

Contact Info:
Office Location:  120 Science Drive Physics 117, Box 90320, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-2800
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Office Hours:

Spring 2022: Mon 5-6:15pm (in-person), Fri 9-10:30am (online).

Ph.D.Brown University2017
M.S.Brown University2013
B.S.Duke University2012

Computational methods • Data analysis • Developmental biology--Mathematical models • Dynamical systems in biology • Intracellular Transport • Mathematical biology in general • Muser Mentor • Stochastic processes--Mathematical models

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Ciocanel, M-V, Applications of PDEs and Stochastic Modeling to Protein Transport in Cell Biology (July, 2022)
  2. Benson, J; Bessonov, M; Burke, K; Cassani, S; Ciocanel, M-V; Cooney, DB; Volkening, A, How do classroom-turnover times depend on lecture-hall size? (June, 2022)
  3. Ciocanel, M-V; Chandrasekaran, A; Mager, C; Ni, Q; Papoian, GA; Dawes, A, Simulated actin reorganization mediated by motor proteins., Plos Computational Biology, vol. 18 no. 4 (April, 2022), pp. e1010026 [doi]  [abs]
  4. Gandhi, P; Ciocanel, M-V; Niklas, K; Dawes, AT, Identification of approximate symmetries in biological development, Philosophical Transactions. Series A, Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, vol. 379 no. 2213 (December, 2021), The Royal Society [doi]  [abs]
  5. Smith, CM; Goldrosen, N; Ciocanel, M-V; Santorella, R; Topaz, CM; Sen, S, Racial Disparities in Criminal Sentencing Vary Considerably across Federal Judges (August, 2021), SOCARXIV
Recent Grant Support

  • Pairing modeling and experiment to understand microtubule behavior in healthy and injured neurons, Pennsylvania State University, 2022/06-2027/04.      
  • RTG: Training Tomorrow's Workforce in Analysis and Applications, National Science Foundation, 2021/07-2026/06. 
ph: 919.660.2800
fax: 919.660.2821

Mathematics Department
Duke University, Box 90320
Durham, NC 27708-0320