I am a Career Development Fellow in the MRC Biostatistics Unit at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, UK, working with Chris Jackson from the MRC Biostatistics Unit and James Woodcock from the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) in Cambridge.
Public Health ModellingMy current work involves both the development of dynamical models in the domain of Public Health and the development of statistical methods to inform the models using available quantitative and qualitative data of interest. A main focus of this project is to investigate different levels of uncertainties in such models.
Evolutionary Systems Biology
During my postdoc at the University of Exeter, I was in Orkun Soyer's Lab (now University of Warwick), working on the EPSRC project Evolution of Control and Controlling Evolution, together with Declan Bates and Ozgur Akman. One main line of interest in that project is the dynamical behaviour of biological networks (e.g. gene regulation networks) in the light of evolution. Particularly, we are interested in the question of how nonlinear system dynamics at the network level shape features such as mutational robustness and evolvability. By looking at design principles in natural systems that have been shaped by evolution, gained insights may be useful for applications in synthetic biology and several areas of engineering that require complex systems to be robust and flexible at the same time. Our work is currently in the process of being published.
Dynamical Modelling of Mood Disorders
One line of my interest concerns dynamical modelling in psychiatry. The dynamical modelling approach has not been used much in psychological and psychiatric research. However, given the highly complex and dynamical features of many mood disorders, such as Bipolar Spectrum Disorders, this approach might be insightful and in fact useful for better diagnosis and treatment of such illnesses. Recently, some opinion articles have pointed to a stronger integration of mathematical modelling in psychiatric research, such as Huys et al. or Bystritsky et al. I have, in collaboration with Clinical Psychologists, been working on a computational model of Bipolar Disorder, informed by empirical data on the Behavioural Activation System (BAS). Our model predicts that nonlinearity in the regulation of the BAS might contribute to the onset and progression of the illness. We are currently extending this strand of research towards likely candidates of such dysregulation. Find our paper here.
Mathematical Modelling of Auxin Transport in Plants (PhD thesis)
Auxin is a plant hormone which holds a key role in many aspects of plant development, such as phyllotaxis, leaf venation or branching. While there is a lot known about auxin, some of its distribution pathways are still unclear. The establishment of auxin fluxes and auxin gradients during cell-to-cell transport of this hormone seems to be critical, however it is shaped to a great extent through self-organising processes that are difficult to grasp. Mathematical modelling and computer simulation have been of great help to better understand auxin biology, and have mostly been undertaken at plant tissue levels. During my PhD at the Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield, I developed several models at the single cell level, focussing on feedbacks between auxin and protons during auxin transport polarisation. This PhD project was co-supervised by Richard Clayton and Ottoline Leyser and funded by a White Rose Scholarship.
A full list of publications can be found on my Google Scholar page.