Staff


Mark Chaplain, Gregory Chair of Applied Mathematics, Head of the Group

Email: majc[AT]st-andrews.ac.uk

Website

Recent publications

Biographical info & Research interests:

Mark holds The Gregory Chair of Applied Mathematics, a position he took up in May 2015. Previously he was at Bath University and Dundee University (where he held The Ivory Chair of Applied Mathematics). His main area of research lies in modelling solid tumour growth and related topics. During his PhD (1987-1990) he developed various reaction-diffusion-type partial differential equation models, mainly for the avascular phase of growth. Since then modelling cancer growth and treatment has remained his main research interest and he has developed a variety of novel mathematical models for all the main phases of solid tumour growth (avascular, tumour-induced angiogenesis, immune-response, vascular, invasion, metastasis). Much of his current work is focussed on what may be described as a systems approach to modelling cancer growth through the development of quantitative and predictive mathematical models i.e. "Mathematical Oncology", a field of research in its own right now which he has been involved in for the past 25 years. Over the past 5 years or so, he and colleagues have also developed models of chemotherapy treatment of cancer, focussing on cell-cycle dependent drugs, and also radiotherapy treatment. One of the new areas of research he has started recently is in modelling intracellular signalling pathways, specifically gene regulatory networks and transcription factors, using partial differential equation models.



Tommaso Lorenzi, Research Fellow

Email: tl47[AT]st-andrews.ac.uk

Website

Recent publications

Biographical info & Research interests:

Tommaso joined the University of St Andrews in late 2015. Previously he was FMJH postdoctoral research fellow in the group of Professor Laurent Desvillettes at the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, and FSMP postdoctoral research fellow in the group of Professor Benoît Perthame at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie. The focus of his research is on the development, analysis and numerical simulation of deterministic models formulated in terms of nonlinear partial differential equations (PDEs), or integro-differential equations (IDEs), and corresponding stochastic individual-based (IB) models. These models complement empirical research by enabling extrapolation beyond scenarios which can be investigated through experiments and by revealing emergent phenomena that would otherwise remain unobserved. Moreover, they pose a series of analytical and numerical challenges which make them interesting mathematical objects per se. Tommaso collaborates interdisciplinary, with cell biologists, immunologists and evolutionary biologists. His current research interests include: nonlocal PDE and IB models of phenotypic evolution in cancer cell populations; nonlinear PDE and IB models of avascular tumour growth and collective cancer cell invasion; nonlocal PDE and IB models of spatial evolutionary games; nonlinear IDEs and PDEs arising in the mathematical modelling of populations structured by behavioural traits.



Giorgos Minas, Lecturer

Email: gm256[AT]st-andrews.ac.uk

Website

Recent publications

Biographical info & Research interests:

Giorgos became a Lecturer in Mathematics and Statistics at University of St Andrews in July 2018. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Warwick undertaking research with Professor David Rand at Warwick Systems Biology Centre (part of Mathematics Institute) and in collaboration with Professor Bärbel Finkenstädt (Warwick, Statistics) and Professor Michael White (Manchester, Biology). He studied Statistics (MSc and Phd) also at Warwick after graduating with a Ptychion (Greek 4 year counterpart of BSc) in Mathematics at National University of Athens. He is interested in developing and applying statistical methodology to extract results from experimental data and mathematical methodology to model, simulate, analyse, and predict biological processes, particularly at the molecular level. Giorgos works on computational analysis and statistical inference using gene expression data (microarrays, RNAseq, scRNAseq). He also works on developing stochastic models of gene regulation and signalling in the living cell and uses these models in developing algorithms for fast stochastic simulation, analytical tools for studying signal sensitivity and cellular decision making in noisy networks, and algorithms for statistical inference. In particular, these methods have been used to study the key elements driving the dynamics of the roughly 24hrs rhythm found to be active in most living cells (circadian clock), the signalling system that triggers the immune response to inflammation in human cells (NF-kB) and processes related to cell development.

Postdoctoral fellows


Ruth Bowness

Email: rec9[AT]st-andrews.ac.uk

Website

Recent publications

Biographical info & Research interests:

Ruth is a Medical Research Fellow, working as part of the Infection and Global Health Division in the School of Medicine. She joined the team in September 2012 to work with Professor Stephen Gillespie and his group on the PreDiCT-TB project, an EU consortium, which aimed to speed up tuberculosis drug development. Her current research involves using partial and ordinary differential equations, and individual-based models to describe tuberculosis bacteria during an infection. Ruth is also an Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard Award holder and has recently starting working on developing individual-based models to investigate antibiotic resistant infections.



Cicely Macnamara

Email: ckm[AT]st-andrews.ac.uk

Website

Recent publications

Biographical info & Research interests:

Cicely is a post-doctoral research assistant who has worked in the Mathematical Biology research group since 2015. She currently works as part of SofTMech - an EPSRC-funded centre for Mathematical Sciences in Healthcare. She is working on an individual-based, force-based model for tumour growth and the interactions with the extra-cellular matrix. Her other research interests include cancer-immune dynamics; intracellular dynamics, including gene regulatory networks; cancer invasion.

PhD students


Linnéa Franssen

Email: lcf4[AT]st-andrews.ac.uk

Website



Biographical info & Research interests:

Linnéa is an EPSRC-funded PhD student in the Mathematical Biology group at the University of St Andrews under the supervision of Mark Chaplain and Tommaso Lorenzi. She is originally from Germany but her love for Scotland drew her to study for an MSci in Mathematics at the University of Glasgow. During this time, she discovered her passion for Mathematical Biology. Recently, she has developed a first mathematical modelling framework that captures the interlinked processes of invasion and metastatic spread of individual cancer cells in a spatially explicit manner. This hybrid model sheds light on the metastatic process by capturing all key steps of the invasion-metastasis-cascade. She is currently looking into the same problem from an analytical perspective. Furthermore, she is interested in 3-dimensional modelling of cancer invasion by explicitly accounting for the transition from collective to individual invasion, and vice versa. In this approach, the spatiotemporal evolution of epithelial cells is described by a macroscopic deterministic model while mesenchymal cells evolve according to an individual-based stochastic model.



Fiona Macfarlane

Email: frm3[AT]st-andrews.ac.uk

Website



Biographical info & Research interests:

Fiona started her PhD in 2015 at St Andrews under the supervision of Mark Chaplain and Tommaso Lorenzi. Fiona began pursuing a degree in Biochemistry as an undergraduate, at Dundee University, however enjoyed the optional maths modules more than the biology. She quickly changed to a degree in Mathematical Biology where she developed a keen interest in the subject. Her research focus is multi-scale modelling of the immune response to cancer, focusing on the interactions between T cells and tumour cells. She uses individual-based models and partial differential models to study the spatial and temporal dynamics of these biological interactions.



Chiara Villa

Email: cv23[AT]st-andrews.ac.uk

Website



Biographical info & Research interests:

Chiara started her PhD in September 2018, under the supervision of Mark Chaplain and Tommaso Lorenzi. Originally from Italy, she studied in St Andrews for an MMaths degree in Applied Mathematics, during which she discovered her love for Mathematical Biology. She had the chance to work on a mathematical model of phenotypic selection of tumour cells and explored mathematical models of tumour-induced angiogenesis during her Master thesis. Her current research focuses on deterministic mechanochemical models of pattern formation and tumour invasion, studied both analytically and numerically.



Yunchen Xiao

Email: ycx[AT]st-andrews.ac.uk

Website



Biographical info & Research interests:

Yunchen started his PhD in September 2018, under the supervision of Mark Chaplain and Len Thomas. He studied a MMaths degree in University of St Andrews from 2014 to 2018, he found himself interested in Mathematical Biology during the summer research internship in 2017, under the supervision of Tommaso Lorenzi. He then decided to go further in this field, as he chose to consider 'Mathematical models of cell dynamics in acute myeloid leukaemia' for his master dissertation topic. Right now, Yunchen is doing a PhD in Mathematical Biology and Statistics, his current research interests are: parameterizing mathematical models of tumor-induced angiogenesis and diffusion, and parameter estimations together with selecting among competing models using Approximate Bayesian Computation methods, (ABC).

Previous members

Chandrasekhar Venkataraman, University of Sussex