I am a PhD student in the School of Mathematics, working on the mathematical modelling of cell fate regulatory networks. The development and behaviour of a cell is governed by its cell fate regulatory network, which is a dynamical system that describes the interactions between the genes and the products of their expression (mRNA and proteins), and other substances in the cell. Cell fate regulatory networks are very complex and the interactions are non-linear, due to a plethora of feedback loops and protein-protein interactions. This inherent complexity makes it impossible to understand the relationships between cell behaviour and regulatory network architecture using experiment and intuition alone. A mathematical model can provide the basis for theoretical description of the system, and offer a deeper insight into the mechanisms of cell fate specification. I focus on stochastic differential equations, exploring the role of the random fluctuations in gene expression levels that have been observed in clonal cell populations. This provides a basis for simulation models that can be used to predict how changes in the level of a particular protein can lead to specific cell types during development.
My first degree was in mathematics at the University of Southampton and my MSc is in Biometry, which involves the statistical analysis of biological data. Before returning to Southampton to do my PhD, I worked as a statistician for the Statistical Services Centre at the University of Reading.
University of Southampton