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Mathematical Modelling of Cancer-Cell Transmigration Through Blood Vessels

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Cancer rarely kills through the primary tumour in which cancer arises, e.g. the prostate in prostate cancer. Instead, cancer cells may travel through the vasculature and colonialize distant organs – a process termed metastasis. A critical step of metastasis is the crossing of the cancer cells through the endothelium – the layer of endothelial cells that line the inside of blood vessels.
This endothelium is a highly dynamical structure that regulates transport of nutrients and oxygen to the tissue in healthy humans. It also allows for formation of gaps that allow immune cells to enter infected tissues. However, precisely these gaps are exploited by the cancer cells to invade the tissues. Recent research has shown that the regulation of these gaps is a complicated process, involving endothelial-cell internal signalling, the mechanics of the endothelium, and the mechano-chemical interactions of the endothelium with the extravasating cells.
In this project, we will construct a mechanochemical model of cancer-endothelial interactions. We will use this model to probe the major contributing factors to the process of transmigration. The model predictions will be validated through collaborations with leading experimental groups that can measure the forces during this process, such as the group of Emad Moeendarbary at UCL. We will also investigate the bi-directional molecular signalling cascades between cancer and endothelium, and how this signalling contributes to altered cell mechanics and gap opening.

Methods: The project may involve several of the following methods: Discrete or continuum mechanics, Monte Carlo simulations, multiscale modelling, data analysis
The only essential requirement are strong academic performance (e.g. evidenced through an excellent 1st class degree in Mathematics, Theoretical Physics, or similar)

Funding Notes

Funding for a start in the year 2019/2020 is closed, so only self funded applications are accepted.

References

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/11/26/375931

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Mathematical Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 40.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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