Rebecca Donnelly

Functional and Comparative Genomics Institute of Integrative Biology University of Liverpool Crown Street Liverpool L69 7ZB


Dr Natasha Savage

I am interested in the use of mathematics to describe real life situations. This interest led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in Mathematical Biology at the University of Dundee. My undergraduate project at Dundee involved looking at the differences between spatial and non-spatial models for oncolytic viral therapies. This allowed me to explore different types of mathematical models and their applications to biological questions. I am keen to expand my knowledge of mathematical models and to utilise them, with the aim of better understanding biological mechanisms at a cellular level.

Project title: Theoretical cell biology: modelling cell polarity 

My project is looking into the role of vesicle transport in cell polarisation. Existing models demonstrate theories describing how polarity patches form in budding and schmooing yeast. These models include the clustering of Cdc42 and actin mediated vesicle transport. The involvement of other cellular mechanisms such as self-emergent membrane domains will be investigated, which may have implications in understanding human diseases. This project will use systems of partial differential equations, coupled with a stochastic computational membrane system, to model the interplay between membrane domains, membrane trafficking and polarity. Investigations will take place in silico using MATLAB.

Additional Activities

I was recently part of a successful world record attempt to create the largest human image of an organ (the brain), which was raising awareness for World Encephalitis Day.

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