CAIMS Prize Award

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Michael C. Mackey, Joseph Morley Drake Professor of Physiology at McGill University, is recognized for his seminal contributions to the advancement of biomathematics, in particular for his groundbreaking efforts to model haematopoiesis, and his co-invention of the concept of  dynamical diseases (abnormalities in the underlying control mechanisms of a physiological system - from a mathematical point of view, a dynamical disease can be interpreted as a bifurcation induced by a change in the value of one or more of the regulating parameters, not in an anatomical dysfunction). In his groundbreaking 1977 Science paper, co-authored with Leon Glass, he introduced the concept, illustrated it on two specific examples, and also provided numerical evidence for irregular oscillations in a first order delay differential equation: this highly original observation eventually lead to the establishment of the so-called Mackey-Glass equation as a paradigmatic chaotic dynamical system (The related Glass-Mackey attractor appeared in 1979 in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences as an example of a system in a chaotic regime).