Tuesday 16 November 2021

BioMaths Colloquium 01/12/2021

BioMaths Colloquium Series - 2021/22


01 December 2021 - 4pm

(Online only - Zoom link: register here)

Insights from mathematical models of spheroids for drug uptake & cancer spread

Professor Rachel Bearon

(Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Liverpool)

Our BioMaths Colloquium Series continues with a seminar by Professor Rachel Bearon from the  Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Liverpool. Rachel Bearon is Head of Department and member of the mathematical biology research group. She has extensive experience of developing models bridging spatial and temporal scales to make biological predictions concerning the movement of cells within complex environments, and applying mathematics to health challenges. Furthermore, she has significant expertise working directly with experimental biologists to develop novel frameworks for processing and integrating imaging data. Her PhD studying bacterial chemotaxis in biological fluid dynamics (Prof Tim Pedley, University of Cambridge) was followed by postdoctoral research into the spatial-temporal dynamics of motile phytoplankton cells in turbulent environments (working with Prof Danny Grunbaum, University of Washington). From her appointment as Lecturer in 2005 at UoL she has developed a track record of productive collaborations with biologists. Rachel applies and develops mathematics to study the spatial and temporal dynamics of a wide range of biological systems across multiple scales, ranging from bacterial chemotaxis, cancer cell motility and phytoplankton in turbulence, to modelling cell-signalling pathways, intracellular protein dynamics and drug transport.


Mathematical models can aid discovery in the life sciences, by providing predictive tools, and allowing efficient testing of ‘what-if’ scenarios. However, identifying the ‘right’ model, and suitably parameterizing it, is a challenging task which mathematicians are well-placed to contribute. I will discuss two projects based upon an experiments on 3D spheroid cell culture systems [1,2]. Cells cultured in such system have been shown to more closely resemble the functionality and morphology of cells in-vivo, and so there is increasing interest in using these systems for example in drug toxicity studies and for better understanding cancer metastasis.
[1]  Leedale, J. A., Kyffin, J., Harding, A., Colley, H., Murdoch, C., Sharma, P., Williams, D., Webb, S. & Bearon, R. (2020). Multiscale modelling of drug transport and metabolism in liver spheroids. Interface Focus, 10(2). doi:10.1098/rsfs.2019.0041
[2] Scott, M., Zychaluk, K. & Bearon, R. (2021) A mathematical framework for modelling 3D cell motility; applications to Glioblastoma cell migration. Mathematical Medicine and Biology, 38(3) doi.org/10.1093/imammb/dqab009

Hope to see many of you!

For the list of forthcoming seminars, see here

Saturday 23 October 2021

BioMaths Colloquium 03/11/2021


BioMaths Colloquium Series - 2021/22


03 November 2021 - 3pm Singleton Campus & on Zoom

(Wallace 218, Singleton Campus, Zoom link: register here)

Using molecular modelling to answer a variety of biological questions

Dr Georgina Menzies

(School of Biosciences, Cardiff University)

Our BioMaths Colloquium Series continues with a seminar by Dr. Georgina Menzies from the  School of Biosciences at Cardiff University. Georgina gained her BSc(Hons) in Forensic Science from the University of Glamorgan, studied for a MSc in Molecular Modelling from Cardiff University and for her PhD focused on the structure of DNA in cancer hotspot sites at Swansea University. After a Ser Cymru II fellowship to study the functional outcomes of dementia genetics, she took up a lectureship at the School of Biosciences in Cardiff University.
Her main research interests involve studying DNA repair pathways and in particular the protein and DNA structural interactions using molecular modelling techniques. She also collaborates with a number of other researchers and research groups to provide structural and functional information for their biological structure of interest. This ranges from drugs to anti-boides and proteins. Most of her research involves modelling techniques including molecular dynamics, coarse grain and mathematical modelling.


Hope to see many of you!

For the list of forthcoming seminars, see here

Wednesday 6 October 2021

Biomath Colloquium 06/10/2021


BioMaths Colloquium Series - 2021/22


06 October 2021 - 3pm Bay Campus & on Zoom

(Lecture Theatre 002, Computational Foundry, Bay Campus)

Modelling the COVID-19 pandemic in Wales

Prof Biagio Lucini

(Department of MathematicsSwansea University) 

We are extremely excited that our BioMaths Colloquium Series resumes after a Covid-19-induced break, with a fantastic set of speakers (see here) and will today be opened for the winter term with a seminar by Prof Biagio Lucini from the Department of Mathematics at Swansea University. Biagio Lucini took his Ph.D. from Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa, Italy) in 2000. He then moved to Oxford University with a postdoctoral fellowship in the Theoretical Physics Department, before becoming Marie Curie Fellow in the same institution. After taking a postdoctoral position at ETH Zurich from October 2003 to September 2005, he returned to the UK with a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, held at Swansea University, his current institution, where he became Professor in 2011. He is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and currently holds a Wolfson Research Merit Award and a Leverhulme Research Fellowship. His main research interests are in Monte Carlo calculations in complex systems with applications to Particle Physics and Statistical Mechanics. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, he began to explore applications of these methodologies to modelling of infectious diseases. On this subject, as a member of an interdisciplinary team including epidemiologists, computer science researchers and research software engineers at the Supercomputing Wales project, he has developed a model that produces dynamical scenarios for the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemics in Wales. Results from this modelling effort have informed and keep informing policies of the Welsh Government.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in huge strains on various aspects of our life. In Wales, the need to understand, adapt and respond to the evolving situation has generated unprecedented challenges for the devolved health policies. As a first urgent response, the Technical Advisory Cell was created, which identified modelling as a high priority. This request led to the formation of the Swansea Modelling Team, a multidisciplinary team of Epidemiologists, Mathematicians, Biologists, Computer Scientists and Research Software Engineers. Through numerical simulations that produce likely scenarios under evolving conditions, this modelling effort has been the main forward-looking input that has informed and keeps informing government policies and containment measures. In this talk, I will tell the tales on how the team got together and produced the earliest set of scenarios. Then, I will provide an overview of the underlying mathematical and computational methods and discuss the key results and findings. Finally, I will give an overview of the challenges moving towards future possible scenarios for the evolution of the pandemic.  

Hope to see many of you!

For the list of forthcoming seminars, see here

Monday 18 January 2021

Wallace Coffee Talks - 26th January 2021

 Wallace Coffee Talks - Winter 2021

26th January - 1pm - Online (Zoom)

Fancy a cup of coffee or tea and learning more about the researchers at Swansea university and beyond? Come join us at the Wallace coffee talks: an informal seminar series where students, staff and others related to Swansea university speak about their research or personal interests.

Dominik Behr - University of Zurich 
Quantifying multistate mortality with incomplete records: A case study of the endangered African wild dog 
Mortality is a key demographic process in ecology and unbiased estimation thereof is paramount to understand and predict population dynamics. Studying mortality in wild animal populations, however, is often impeded by incomplete records such as, for instance, missing time of death of individuals that disappeared under unknown circumstances. In this talk, I will introduce a Bayesian framework to estimate mortality with incomplete records and present an application to a long-term dataset on the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). Our findings show that mortality during dispersal was lower than at philopatry in wild dogs of either sex. 

More information about Dominik's research project on African wild dogs can be found here: