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Sophie Kay
Sophie Kay
Sophie Kay
About me:
My research primarily involves development of cell-based models for colorectal cancer (CRC), working at the subcellular and cellular scales of interest.

* Development of dynamical systems models for several key biochemical pathways implicated in CRC, and their impact upon mitotic mechanisms via the cell cycle;
* Specific emphasis upon crosstalk between the Notch and Wnt pathways and the effect of such interaction on local and global cell behaviour within the colorectal epithelium;
* Development of a multiscale framework coupling cellular behaviour with the subcellular reaction networks mentioned above;
* Application of this framework to in silico translation experiments, exploring the impact of tissue geometry upon the expression of subcellular biochemistry;
* Application of these techniques to drug discovery problems, for example studying drug synergies within the intestinal crypt.

The biological aspects of this work are being developed in collaboration with Prof. Keith Brennan (University of Manchester) and Prof. Trevor Dale (Cardiff University). Meanwhile, the computational aspects of my DPhil involve developing the cell-based side of Chaste (http://www.cs.ox.ac.uk/chaste/), an open-source, C++ based framework for cell and tissue simulation.

My previous work in computational biology includes:

* FLUID DYNAMICS OF THE EYE (MSc thesis, supervised by Dr. Andrew Hazel, Manchester 2008): Finite element methods for modelling the flow of liquefied vitreous humour within the human eye;
* CELLULAR POTTS MODELLING OF THE COLORECTAL CRYPT (supervised by Prof. David Gavaghan and Dr. James Osborne, Oxford 2009): Application of the cellular Potts model to modelling the colorectal crypt, examining its suitability for representing intestinal tissue;
* PERINEURAL TUMOUR INVASION (supervised by Prof. Philip Maini and Dr. Alex Fletcher, Oxford 2009): Examination of discrete versus continuum approaches for modelling migration of tumour cells towards the perineural sheath in cancers of the head and neck.

During 2012-2013 I also held a Panton Fellowship with the Open Knowledge Foundation. The OKFN aims to foster and promote open science, open data and open access practices internationally. My fellowship culimated in the founding of the Open Science Training Initiative (www.opensciencetraining.com), an educational scheme for graduates and early-career researchers, designed to foster reproducibility in science and develop awareness of digital research and open practice.

Aside from my academic work, I am also interested in educational initiatives in mathematics and science and am involved in several Open Day, Women in Science and Access initiatives, including the Ashlawn Pathways conference in Warwickshire.