Using original experimental data from new methods of imaging single immune cells and their progeny, the project aims at exploring some open questions using mathematical modelling. In particular, we will help the student develop an original computational model that captures the important features of single cells and tries to reconstruct the patterns and dynamics of reproduction, growth and death of T cells in vivo. A probabilistic approach, using agent-based simulations, Monte Carlo and branching techniques, will be developed. The model will allow us to understand how death and proliferation of cells are related, how shape and dimension of single cells can influence their ability to reproduce and live, and if, for some cells, periods of inactivity are characteristic of better progenies at later times. Understanding how cell fate programming works will lead to improved diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities for a range of cancers and infectious diseases.
Holly Casey is a second-year undergraduate student at Swinburne University of Technology, majoring in Applied Mathematics and Physics. She completed VCE at Fitzroy High School in 2017 with the Dux in biology. While at high school she tutored year 8 & 9 students in maths. At university she has spent time being a science mentor at Epping Secondary College and assisted a PhD student with data collection and analysis of frog calls. She has an interest in using mathematics for real world problems, such as modelling biological and ecological systems.