I am an interdisciplinary researcher who examines the engineering processes through which models and simulations are developed that help us understand real systems, historically biological and immunological systems. Currently I am a Senior Research Associate in Intelligent and Adaptive Systems at the University of York’s Department of Electronics and York Computational Immunology Lab.
My research principally lies in examining current and developing novel engineering approaches by which models of biological systems are developed, to increase confidence in the use of these models in guiding experiments to perform in the laboratory and to reduce the need for animal experimentation. These approaches encapsulate the complete process of model and simulation development, from conception through design, implementation, analysis, and relating the results to the real-world.
The vast majority of my research is conducted in close collaboration with the Centre for Immunology and Infection at the University of York. Since October 2015 I also work closely with the York Robotics Lab, who use simulations to develop biologically-inspired algorithms for use in robotics. I have begun working with the researchers in York’s Centre for Health Economics, to examine the use of our approaches in models of cost-effectiveness of healthcare provision, and have recently been awarded some pump-priming funds to begin to develop new paths for our research into healthcare and epidemiology.
The approaches we have developed at York are described in a number of publications, and I lead the development of a number of software tools that assist researcher’s in the development and analysis of robust, reliable simulations.
I studied Computer Science at Royal Holloway, University of London before completing a Masters of Research in Computational Biology at the University of York. I stayed at York to complete a PhD in the Department of Biology, jointly funded by the Centre for Immunology and Infection and Departments of Computer Science, then spent just over a year as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Systems Biology at the University of Birmingham, funded by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement, and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3R’s). I returned to York in March 2013, funded by an award by York’s Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders to develop integrated approaches to modelling immunological systems. Since October 2015 I have been in my current role at the Department of Electronics, conducting my own research while assisting the management of the York Computational Immunology Lab and York Robotics Laboratory, working with external academics and large multi-national companies, and generating new grant applications and collaborations.