Lloyd Demetrius

Lloyd Demetrius

Mathematician and theoretical biologist, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany

Visiting Professor 1997-2000

Hosted by the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences


Lloyd Demetrius is a mathematician and theoretical biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics at Berlin, Germany, and in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary biology at Harvard University. Main research interests: 1) ergodic theory of dynamical systems and its applications to the analysis of biological processes at molecular, cellular and population levels; 2) quantum statistics as a formalism to investigate the dynamics of electron transport and proton transduction in cellular metabolism.

Dr. Demetrius earned the BA (1961) and MA (1964) in Mathematics from Cambridge University in England, the PhD (1967) from the University of Chicago, and a postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley. 

He is best known for the discovery of the concept, evolutionary entropy, a statistical parameter that characterizes Darwinian fitness in models of evolutionary processes at various levels of biological organization - molecular, organismic and cultural. Dr. Demetrius has also pioneered the application of the methodology of Quantum Mechanics to the study of allometric relations between metabolic rate and generation time in cells . This work is the mathematical basis for the analysis of cancer and neurodegenerative disorders as metabolic and bioenergetic diseases.

He has been a faculty member in mathematics departments across the United States: University of California, Berkeley; Brown University, and Rutgers University. From 1980 to 1989, Dr. Demetrius was a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany. Since 1990, he has been with the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, first as a visiting professor, and then as research scholar in population genetics.

Dr. Demetrius has held a visiting professorship at University of Paris and was an occupant of a Chaire Municipale, a distinguished Visiting professorship at the University of Grenoble. During his three years as an MIT MLK Visiting Professor, Dr. Demetrius was hosted by the Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.


Selected publications

Demetrius, Lloyd and D. Simon (2012) An inverse-Warburg effect and the origin of Alzheimer's disease Biogerontology 13, 583-594
Demetrius, Lloyd and D. Simon (2013) The inverse association of cancer and Alzheimer's: a bioenergetic mechanism Interface - Jour. Royal Society 10, 82
Demetrius, Lloyd and S. Legendre (2013) Evolutionary entropy predicts the outcome of selection: Competition for resources that vary in abundance and diversity Theor. Pop. Biology 83, 39-54
Davis, Paul C., L.A. Demetrius and J.A. Tuszynski (2012) Implications of quantum metabolism and natural selection for the origin of cancer cells and tumor progression AIP Advances 2, 011002
Davis, Paul C., L.A. Demetrius and J.A. Tuszynski (2011) Cancer as dynamical phase transition Theor. Biol. And Medical Modelling 8, 30
Demetrius, L., Coy, J. F. and Tuszynski, J. A. (2010): Cancer proliferation and therapy: the Warburg effect and quantum metabolism. J.R. Soc. Interface.
Demetrius, L. and Tuszynski, J. A. (2009): Quantum metabolism explains the allometric scaling of metabolic rates. J.R. Soc. Interface.
Demetrius, L., Harremöes, P. and Legendrec, S. (2009): Evolutionary Entropy: A Predictor of Body Size, Metabolic Rate and Maximal Life Span. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 71: 800 - 818 .
Adjaye, J., Brink, T.C., Demetrius, L. and Lehrach, H. (2008): Age-related transcriptional changes in gene expression in different organs of mice support the metabolic stability theory of aging. Biogerontology .
Demetrius, L. and Ziehe, M. (2007): Darwinian fitness. Theoretical Population Biology, 72: 323 - 345 .
Demetrius, L. (2006): Aging in Mouse and Human Systems. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 1067: 66 – 82.
Demetrius L., and Manke, T. (2005): Robustness and network evolution. Physica A, 346: 682 - 696 .
Kowald, A. and Demetrius, L. (2005): Directionality theory: a computational study of an entropic principle in evolution. Proc. Royal Soc. B. London, 272: 741 - 749 .
Demetrius, L. and Ziehe, M. (2005): Directionality theory: an empirical study of an entropc principle in life-history evolution. Proc. Royal Soc. B. London, 272: 1185 - 1194 .
Demetrius, L., Gundlach, M., and Ochs, M. (2004): Complexity and demographic stability. Theor. Pop. Biol. 65: 211 - 225 .
Demetrius, L. (2002): Quantum statistics and allometric scaling of organisms. Physica A, 322: 477 - 490 .
Demetrius, L., Gundlach, V.M. and Ochs, G. (2002): Complexity and demographic stability in population models. Theoretical Population Biology, 65: 211 - 225 .
Demetrius, L. (2001): Mortality plateaus and directionality theory. Proc. Royal Soc. B London, 268: 2029 - 2037 .
Demetrius, L. and Gundlach, V.M. (2000): Game theory and evolution: finite size and absolute fitness measures. Mathematical Biosciences, 168: 9 - 38 .
Demetrius, L. (1997): Directionality principles in thermodynamics and evolution. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 94: 3491 - 3498 .
Arnold, L., Demetrius, L. and Gundlach, V.M. (1994): Evolutionary formalism for products of positive random matrices. The Annals of Applied Probability, Vol. 4, No. 3: 859 - 901 .
Demetrius, L. (1983): Statistical Mechanics and Population Biology. Journal of Statistical Physics, Vol. 30, No. 3: 709 - 753 .
Demetrius, L. (1978): Adaptive value, entropy and survivorship curves. Nature, 275: 213 - 214.