School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Stem Cells

Human pluripotent stem cells are at the forefront of modern molecular biology research due to their ability to give rise to any specialist human cell type, a property known as pluripotency.  Human pluripotent stem cells are cultured in mono-layer colonies in laboratories for a variety of fundamental and clinical purposes, from understanding the formation of the embryo to producing specific tissue types for clinical applications, therapies and drug testing.  These colonies, and their derivatives, exhibit highly non-trivial behaviour, with their biological state being influenced by cellular interactions, the chemical and mechanical environment, and the colony geometry.  Using advanced mathematical analysis and modelling, we are working to help understand how stem cells behave, from their individual behaviour up to colonies of thousands of cells.  This work is in collaboration with stem cell experiments at the Biosciences Institute in the group of Professor Linda Lako.