Featured Research (Kirsty Wan)

Kirsty Wan's lab investigates the motility and dynamical behaviour of remarkable organelles called cilia and flagella. They work at the interface of physics, mathematics and biology, seeking to combine and develop novel interdisciplinary methods to provide new insight into the origins, control, and mutability of life at the microscale.

Find out more at Kisty's website.

Research interests

Researchers in the Living Systems Mathematics group develop and use mathematical methods to understand biological systems including the brain. Our researchers are based in the Medical School, Mathematics, Physics and the Living Systems Institute (LSI), a 52m investment by the University into interdisciplinary approaches to understand living systems and disease. We work within growing a cross-university infrastructure for the mathematics of living systems, using our mathematics to drive collaborations and scientific advances across the life sciences and medicine.

Our work is inspired by many application areas including epilepsy, dementia, depression, movement disorders, psychosis and schizophrenia, perception, hormone dynamics and gene regulatory networks, to name but a few. Our group has a unique interdisciplinary approach: carry out our own experiments in neurophysiology, in neuroendocrinology, on the dynamics of swimming, on the dynamics of human perception. These activities are driven by close collaborations with clinicians, including neurologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists and dermatologists, as well as experimental biologists and neuroscientists.

Our research is broadly focussed on understanding living systems using mathematical models. A main focus is the development of predictive models to better understand, diagnose and treat chronic health conditions that present significant challenges to society, such as diabetes and dementia, as supported by the EPSRC Hub for Quantitative Modelling in Healthcare the EPSRC-funded Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare. These activities are driven by close collaborations with clinicians, including neurologists, cardiologists, endocrinologists and dermatologists, as well as experimental biologists and neuroscientists. This requires the development and application of approaches from dynamical systems theory combined with image processing, data analysis, optimisation and uncertainty quantification. Our work covers a spectrum from fundamental mathematics of dynamical systems to applications in biology and healthcare.

Funding awarded since 2015

  • 2021 - 2025 EPSRC Hub for Quantitative Modelling in Healthcare £1.2M EP/T017856/1, PI: Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova
  • 2020 - 2021 EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare £242,649 EP/N014391/2Co-I/Deputy Director: Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova, Co-I: Marc Goodfellow
  • 2020 - 2025 ERC Starting Grant: Moving around without a brain: Evolution of basal cognition in single-celled organisms (EvoMotion) €1,950,430 link, PI: Kirsty Wan
  • 2019 - 2022 Technical University of Munich (TUM) Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) Hans Fischer Senior Fellowship Transient Emergent Network Dynamics €150,000 PI: Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova
  • 2019 - 2022 BBSRC standard grant: Dynamic network reconfiguration at the transition between motor programs £284,000 BB/T002352/1, co-I: Roman Borisyuk
  • 2019 - 2023 BBSRC US Partnering Award , An integrative approach to understanding the GnRH pulse generator: combining in-vitro, in-vivo and in-silico methodologies, £49,600 BB/S019979/1, co-I: Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova collaboration with Kings College London and Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), Portland, Oregon
  • 2018 - 2021 EPSRC New Investigator Award: Neural oscillator network modelling of auditory stream segregation £173,945 EP/R03124X/1, PI: James Rankin
  • 2018 - 2021 Alan Turing Institute Fellowship £27,740, PI: Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova
  • 2018 - 2021 MRC Skills Development Fellowship: Identifying patient-specific brain dynamics markers in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Cognitive Treatment Response, £305,647 MR/S019499/1, PI: Jen Creaser
  • 2018 - 2021 BBSRC standard grant: A novel mechanism underlying GnRH pulse generation by KNDy neurones £370,362 BB/S001255/1, PI: Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova, collaboration with Kings College London
  • 2018 - 2021 Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard award: Genesis and control of motile cilia £100K, PI: Kirsty Wan
  • 2017 - 2019 Royal SocietyNewton Mobility Grant: Biomedical modelling of hormone dynamics at the interface of stress and metabolism £12,000, PI: Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova, collaboration with UNAM Mexico
  • 2017 - 2019 EPSRC first grant: Quantifying uncertainty in perturbed brain networks: towards a decision support tool for epilepsy surgery £101,000 EP/P021417/1, PI: Marc Goodfellow
  • 2017 - 2023 Wellcome Trust grant: Neural Dynamics: from synapses to systems in health and disease £2,084,000 108899/B/15/Z, co-I: Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova, collaboration with University of Bristol
  • 2016 - 2019 Epilepsy Research UK: An Optimal Computer Model for the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Epilepsy £150,000k, Co-I: Marc Goodfellow
  • 2016 - 2023 Wellcome Trust ISSF grant: Translational Research @ Exeter £1,500,000, Co-Director: Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova
  • 2016 - 2019 EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare at the University of Exeter £2,008,955 EP/N014391/1, Co-I/Deputy Director: Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova, Co-I: Marc Goodfellow

 

 

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