LMS awards grant to Gianne Derks and Carina Dunlop for summer project of Rebekah Aspinwall

The London Mathematical Society has awarded a grant to Gianne Derks and Carina Dunlop to support an undergraduate eight-week summer research project of Rebekah Aspinwall. The title of the project is “Mechanistic underpinning of phenomenological cancer growth models” and an abstract of the project is below. (Figure credit: CC0 Public Domain)

Abstract: Phenomenological or empirical models are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry to model cancer growth and the effect of potential drugs . Mechanistic mathematical models are gaining traction in industry, but are used mainly for simulations. This project proposes to investigate the potential links between a simple mechanistic mathematical model and two phenomenological models that are considered among the best in the industry. In preliminary investigations, all three models work well for fitting data obtained from experiments related to small avascular tumours. This raises the question: Is it possible to analytically find a link between those models and hence find potential mechanisms to underpin the phenomenological models? This project will use dynamical systems theory and analysis to investigate this question.