Dr Eder Zavala PhD

Eder Zavala

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Assistant Professor in Mathematics

Contact details

Address
Centre for Systems Modelling and Quantitative Biomedicine
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Dr Eder Zavala is an applied mathematician jointly appointed across the School of Mathematics, Computer Science, and the College of Medical and Dental Sciences. His work focuses on interdisciplinary research spanning mathematics, computational and biomedical sciences. Eder has held an MRC Skills Development Fellowship and a EU Horizon 2020 secondment to develop quantitative methods for the diagnosis and management of endocrine conditions (see ULTRADIAN). He has established international partnerships supported by the Global Challenges Research Fund, the Royal Society Newton Mobility Grant, and collaborations via MRC, EPSRC, NIHR and intra-mural funding. His collaborations with clinicians, computer scientists and other mathematicians span several Russell Group UK universities, as well as research institutions in the USA, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Korea, Mexico and Australia. Committed to patient and public engagement and science communication, Eder regularly participates in events such as Pint of Science, Festival of Neuroscience, and organises workshops bringing together patients, clinicians and researchers to collaborate in addressing current challenges in healthcare.

Eder is part of the centre for Systems Modelling & Quantitative Biomedicine (SMQB), where he leads the Mathematical and Computational Modelling in Biomedical & Clinical Systems theme. He is also a member of the EPSRC Mathematical Sciences Early Career Forum.

SMQB Twitter handle 

Qualifications

  • PhD in Molecular Biomedicine, 2012, CINVESTAV Mexico
  • MSc in Engineering and Biomedical Physics, 2008, CINVESTAV Mexico
  • BSc (Hons) in Physics, 2006, UANL Mexico

Biography

Eder trained as a physicist in Mexico, where he developed a keen interest for mathematical biology and biomedicine. While in graduate school at CINVESTAV, Mexico, his research focused on modelling signalling pathways and gene regulatory networks, with the goal of understanding how the topology of these networks influences their dynamics and robustness to noise. During his MSc in Engineering and Biomedical Physics, Eder developed mathematical models of self-regulated gene circuits, exploring how negative and positive regulatory feedback loops control phenotypes in prokaryotes. While doing his PhD in Molecular Biomedicine, he developed mathematical models in developmental biology. His thesis proposed a mathematical model of a somitogenic regulatory network that considers the interactions between antagonistic gradients and genetic clocks that embryonic cells use as spatiotemporal cues to achieve robust, irreversible commitment to a developmental fate. Eder undertook his first postdoc appointment at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) in Japan, where he investigated non-classic stochastic effects in gene expression and used advanced computational tools to simulate these processes at the single gene level. He also investigated asymmetric protein segregation in yeast using spatial stochastic simulations and developed a Delayed Stochastic Simulation Algorithm with cell division (DSSAcd) to explore cell cycle effects in feedback-regulated gene circuits. In 2015, Eder moved to the UK to work alongside Prof John Terry and Prof Stafford Lightman (FRS) in the emergent field of mathematical endocrinology. In 2017, he secured an MRC Skills Development Fellowship to develop his career transition to independence. In 2022, Eder was appointed Assistant Professor in Mathematics at the University of Birmingham where he continues his research on mathematical biomedicine.

Research

Eder is an applied mathematician investigating the dynamic regulation of stress hormones and their interaction with metabolism, fertility, sleep and inflammation. His goal is to develop a mathematical understanding of endocrine regulation that includes rhythmic hormone secretion, responses to perturbations, and long-term physio-pathological changes. This can translate into healthcare technologies for the diagnosis and management of endocrine conditions. To do this, he works alongside clinicians, computer scientists and other mathematicians to develop quantitative analyses of circadian hormone profiles and data collected from wearable devices. His mathematical models and algorithms facilitate the identification of computational biomarkers that signal abnormal hormone dynamics more efficiently than current single time point analyses, supporting personalised diagnosis and clinical interventions.

Research Groups and Centres

Centre for Systems Modelling and Quantitative Biomedicine (SMQB)

Other activities

  • Member of the EPSRC Mathematical Sciences Early Career Forum (2022-2025)
  • Member of the Mexican National System of Researchers - Level 1 (2016-2018)

Media

Innovating chronodiagnosis of endocrine conditions

Modelling inflammation after heart surgery

Publications

For an updated list of articles visit Eder's Google Scholar profile or follow the Publications Research Portal button below.

View all publications in research portal