Computational Modelling Group

Alexandra K. Diem

Postgraduate Research Student
Engineering Sciences (FEE)
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I am a PhD student at the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation (ICSS) under the supervision of Prof Neil Bressloff (engineering), Dr Giles Richardson (mathematics) and Dr Roxana Carare (medicine). By training I am a Diplom Bioinformaticist (University of Jena, Germany, equivalent to MSc). I came to the ICSS completely open-minded about what I would want to study, but knowing that I was more interested in analytical research rather than data processing.

My interest lies in resolving the many unsolved questions in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). AD is the most common form of dementia and poses a serious health risk all over the world, with 35.6 million cases worldwide in 2010 and an estimated 70 million cases by 2030. The disease is lethal in every case and to date there is no cure as the processes relevant to the onset and progression of the disease have not been fully understood yet. I am studying the processes involved in solute drainage from the brain, which, alongside the eye, is the only organ that does not have its own lymphatic system. It is known that solute drainage occurs along cerebral arteries and the most likely destination for these solutes are the lymph nodes in the neck. One of these solutes is A? and the age-related impaired drainage of this protein leads to its accumulation in the brain and the development of AD. In order to inspire the development of novel treatment methods that go beyond the treatment of symptoms I aim at investigating and resolving the driving force of A? drainage and ways to maintain it during age.

During the first year of the ICSS PhD programme I additionally conducted a small research project into the resilience and phosphorus dynamics of shallow lakes.

To find out more about myself, my research and other interests, please visit my blog. If you want to talk to me come and visit me in Building 25, Room 2027.

Working with...

Neil Bressloff
Professor, Engineering Sciences (FEE)
Roxana-Octavia Carare
Senior Lecturer, Medicine (FM)
Giles Richardson
Reader, Mathematics (FSHS)