Computational modelling of lymphatic function in health and disease


   Auckland Bioengineering Institute

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  Assoc Prof Kelly Burrowes  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

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The lymphatic system is a network of tissues, organs, and vessels that play a critical role in the body's immune defence and fluid balance. It is responsible for absorbing excess fluid and returning it to the bloodstream, and has been shown to play a critical role in maintaining health. However, there are still significant gaps in our understanding of how the lymphatic system works, particularly in relation to disease.

The role of lymphatic vessels in the lungs is important for immune function and fluid balance. Lung lymphatic dysfunction has recently been implicated in lung injury in humans after cigarette smoke exposure and severe COVID-19. A novel finding of lymphatic coagulation has been reported in these conditions, helping explain how the lymphatics become compromised. Our team is studying the effects of vaping on lung health. As part of this, we want to understand whether lung lymphatics are impacted due to vaping and what this could mean for lung function.

As part of a larger research programme, we are creating a computer model of lymphatic function that can be used to understand the role of lymphatic dysfunction in lung health. We are looking for an individual to join our multidisciplinary team and help with this important work. The successful candidate will work alongside experts in lymphatics, lung physiology, computational modelling, and mathematical modelling. The candidate will work alongside another PhD student to combine experimental measurements of lung lymphatics into a computational model.

If you are passionate about developing modelling tools to improve patient care and have a strong background in mathematics, computational modelling, or other engineering, you should apply!

Find out more about this project and other projects on our website here.

The Auckland Bioengineering Institute - breaking boundaries in bioengineering for more than 20 years

At the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI), we apply engineering and technical innovation to advancing medical care, human capability, and understanding of human physiology. Our team of world-renowned researchers are working on everything from artificial intelligence avatars, to implantable devices, to digital models of the human body. Our focus on research excellence and commercialisation adds value to society and to the global economy.

Our research makes a real difference in the world. We’ve designed sensors to diagnose stomach disease without needing invasive surgery; developed a tiny wireless implantable device to measure brain pressure and save the lives of children with hydrocephalus; and we lead the world in building digital models of the human body which will enhance personalised medicine approaches for improved diagnosis and treatment.

Join our team of researchers for a postgraduate degree and together we can make a difference. Our graduates are amongst the most employable in the world - many either continue their career in research, find employment with industry leaders such as Rocket Lab or Fisher & Paykel, or launch their own startup companies.

Our students come from over 50 different countries and a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines, including Engineering, Medicine, Mathematics and Science.

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Engineering (12) Mathematics (25)

 About the Project