Dr Jagir Hussan

BE Coimbatore IT, PhD

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Research Fellow


Jagir Hussan has an engineering degree from the Coimbatore Institute of Technology, India and a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to his PhD studies, he worked for the IBM Corporation, specialising in high performance computing solutions for biology, finance and multimedia intelligence. His PhD was in cardiac electrophysiology, specifically focused towards understanding the role of ion-channels in cardiac arrhythmias using first principles.

He is involved in projects ranging from modelling ruminal microbial ecology, serious skin disorders, to developing models of cardiac looping. The core theme underlying these investigations is on developing frameworks and analysis techniques to investigate multiscale phenomena that commonly arise in biology.

He is currently developing a model of the neuroendocrine system of human skin and its interaction with the skin resident microbiome. Specifically, he is interested in how the interaction architecture evolves, potentiates and modulates the activation of mechanical, chemical and electrical signalling pathways and control programs. A targeted outcome is to determine the mechanisms underlying disease phenotypes.

Current active areas of research include:

  • Non-equilibrium thermodynamics,
  • Ruminal microbial ecology,
  • Mechanobiology,
  • Human microbiome and the Skin,
  • Endocrine systems modelling.

Research | Current

Host Microbiome Interactions

Modelling host-microbiome interactions in humans and animals.  Learn more about this research at the ABI's Animal and Microbiome Research project page. Key themes guiding current research are summarised below:

The digital dairy cow

The dairy cow is a complex biological organism. Selecting one functional trait (such as milk yield) leads to compromises in other critical functional traits (such as fertility, ability to handle stress etc.). Consequently, a narrow focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions alone will lead to undesirable effects in terms of animal welfare, longevity and overall sustainability of dairy farming. I am developing a holistic approach, aided by ABI's demonstrated capability in computational modelling and simulation in human health, to investigate scenarios (such as functional trait selection, diet, milking frequencies, lactation cycles etc.) that would not just reduce emissions but increase value generation and improve sustainability and profitability.

Does a low Selenium diet under high UV exposure lead to skin infections?

Serious skin infections pose a significant risk to children, elderly and deprived populations. It is a complex disease and arises from the intimate interactions between the skin, immune system and the skin-microbiome. Recent studies have indicated that westernised diet can be a factor. Selenium, a mineral low in NZ soils, has been shown to be important in skin protection against UV induced damages. We are investigating whether a westernised diet with low selenium and high UV exposure could explain the high incidence of eczema and related skin disorders in NZ children.

Multiscale model of cutaneous endocrine system

Human skin produces, activates or inactivates numerous hormones. Some of these are important for normal skin function but some also contribute to the functioning of the entire human organism. Being the primary barrier between the environment and the internal milieu it not only protect from environmental assaults but it plays a vital role in thermoregulation, sensing and feedback. There is increasing evidence that this sensing and feedback occurs not only through the cutaneous nervous system, but also through the cutaneous endocrine system. Interactions with the resident skin-microbiome also plays a major role. Through funding from the Aotearoa Foundation, we are developing models of the cutaneous endocrine system and its interactions with skin-microbiome. The physical systems are represented using Port-Hamiltonians and are interconnected to form larger ensembles.

Postgraduate supervision

Mary Familusi, University of Cape Town. Clinical Study and Mathematical Modelling of Rheumatic Heart Disease. (PhD)

Hashem Yousefi, University of Auckland. How does the heart grow? (PhD. Completed May 2020)

Areas of expertise

  • Computational Physiology
  • Functional Genomics
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Nonlinear elasticity
  • High performance computing
  • Networked Dynamical systems

Committees/Professional groups/Services

Chair, ABI Equity and Diversity Committee.

Chair, UoA Equity Community of Interest.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Hussan, J. R., & Hunter, P. J. (2020). Comfort Simulator: A Software Tool to Model Thermoregulation and Perception of Comfort. Journal of Open Research Software, 8 (1), 16-16. 10.5334/jors.288
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Hunter
  • Hussan, J. R., & Hunter, P. J. (2020). Our natural "makeup" reveals more than it hides: Modeling the skin and its microbiome. Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Systems biology and medicine10.1002/wsbm.1497
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Hunter
  • Hussan, J. R., Roberts, P., Hamilton, M., Gerneke, D., & Hunter, P. J. (2019). Bimodal behavior in fabric drying kinetics: An interpretation of modes. Textile Research Journal, 89 (23-24), 5076-5084. 10.1177/0040517519848160
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Dane Gerneke, Peter Hunter
  • Razak, J. J. (2019). ABI Comfort Simulator [Computer software].
  • Wang, V. Y., Hussan, J. R., Yousefi, H., Bradley, C. P., Hunter, P. J., & Nash, M. P. (2017). Modelling Cardiac Tissue Growth and Remodelling. JOURNAL OF ELASTICITY, 129 (1-2), 283-305. 10.1007/s10659-017-9640-7
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/42638
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Vicky Wang, Christopher Bradley, Peter Hunter, Martyn Nash
  • Hussan, J. R., Hunter, P. J., Gladding, P. A., Greenberg, N., Christie, R., Wu, A., ... Thomas, J. D. (2015). ICMA: An integrated cardiac modeling and analysis platform. Bioinformatics, 31 (8), 1331-1333. 10.1093/bioinformatics/btu809
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Hunter, Richard Christie, Hugh Sorby
  • Nickerson, D. P., Ladd, D., Hussan, J. R., Safaei, S., Suresh, V., Hunter, P. J., & Bradley, C. P. (2015). Using CellML with OpenCMISS to simulate multi-scale physiology. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 210.3389/fbioe.2014.00079
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Vinod Suresh, Peter Hunter, Christopher Bradley, David Nickerson, Soroush Safaei
  • Hussan, J., & Hunter, P. (2015). Inferring intra-cellular mechanics using geometric metamorphosis: A preliminary study. 2015 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 901-904. Milan, Italy: IEEE. 10.1109/EMBC.2015.7318508
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Peter Hunter


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 6, Room 601
New Zealand

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