The aim of my research, in biomechanics and the application of mathematics to medicine, is to develop and solve novel mathematical models to provide fundamental insights into biomedical problems that complement those obtained by experimental methods. My research involves collaborations with life scientists, clinicians, and theoreticians in highly interdisciplinary projects addressing key clinical problems.
My current work is focussed on mathematical multi-scale models of airway hyper-responsiveness, inflammation and remodelling in asthma. The motivation for my research is to quantify the roles and interactions of the smooth muscle cells, tissues and chemical mediators that are involved in asthma, and specifically in the acute biomechanical contractile response of normal and remodelled airway wall tissue in vivo. To this end my group is developing novel, multi-scale, mathematical models of airway contraction and remodelling, informed by experimental data that explicitly couples the force generated in ASM cells arising from molecular level events, to a biomechanical continuum model of airway tissue. The theoretical models that are being developed each require different mathematical approaches, from discrete-stochastic models at the sub-cellular level through to deterministic-continuum nonlinear (morpho)elastic models at the tissue level.
Previously, I was involved in the development of multi-level computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of inhaled drugs with a Framework 5 European Commission project in order to develop simulation tools for delivery device development and optimisation of inhaled drug deposition and distribution. This was in collaboration with pharmaceutical industry (Aventis Pharma, CFX-Ansys). Prior to this I worked on an EPSRC grant in collaboration with an anaesthetic clinician developing mathematical models to optimise ventilation strategies for mechanically ventilated patients.
My PhD thesis entitled "Haemodynamics of the giraffe jugular vein" under the supervision of Prof T.J. Pedley involved development of mathematical models of flow-structure interactions in collapsible tubes.