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Personal profile

Opportunities

Postgraduate Opportunities

I am eager to supervise students interested in applications to the life sciences. I am especially keen to work on models of metabolic networks and gene regulation, focusing on techniques that allow one to say things such as "this proposed network architecture can (or cannot) give rise to oscillations."  I am also interested in modelling the role of spatial organisation of the cellular nucleus in gene regulation and would be happy to hear directly from any interested students. Alternatively, one could express interest through the School's postgraduate admissions pages.

Previous Ph.D. students: Carole Tham, who wrote about stochastic resonance in vision, finished in December 2006, and Hitesh Mistry, who worked on stochastic models for the generation of circadian rhythms, completed his thesis in January 2007. My most recent student, Zainab Alsoufi, submiited her thesis on the NF-kappa B signalling network in December 2016. Dr. Tham is now a teacher while Dr. Mistry went on to a postdoc in Dundee followed by jobs at AstraZeneca and Physiomics in Oxford. He recently returned to the University of Manchester as a Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Pharmacometrics.

 

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

My group

Biography

I sometimes tell students that I first came to university in the Autumn of 1977 and liked it so much that I've never left. I was an undergraduate in cold, snowy Chicago, where I got my first degree from Northwestern University's then-experimental Integrated Science Program, an interdisciplinary project that aimed to train people for such hybrid disciplines such as geophysics, neurobiology and biochemistry. After four years in the upper midwest I (and most of my friends) decided to go to grad school in sunny California: I ended up in Pasadena, studying physics at CalTech. After various false starts involving, for example, magnetoreception and the neurobiology of sensory transduction, I wrote a thesis about dynamical systems  under the supervision of Anatole Katok.

In September 1989 I moved to the UK for what I imagined  to be a three-year postdoc working with Robert MacKay at the University of Warwick and Dave Broomhead, at what was then the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment in Great Malvern. Six years later Dave moved to UMIST in cool, rainy Manchester and I followed, working first as a postdoc and, after January 1999, as a Lecturer. Initially I had a joint appointment split between the Departments of Mathematics and Optometry, but when UMIST merged into the new University of Manchester I became a full-time member of the new School of Mathematics

Research interests

I work on applications of mathematics to the Life Sciences. In recent years I have worked with Mike White on problems in cell biology, especially those arising from cellular-signalling cascades in the immune system; with Pawel Paszek  on the cell-biology of Listeria infection and, most recently, with Tucker Gilman, David Robertson and Nikos Papadopoulos as part of the CURE constortium, studying the respiratory microbiome of asthmatics.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Advanced Materials in Medicine
  • Sustainable Futures
  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute

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