I am a first year PhD research student at Newcastle University having been awarded a fully funded doctoral training studentship by the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). My primary research area revolves around parameter fitting for stochastic models in biological contexts. During my MRes and PhD projects I will be working with Dr Paolo Zuliani (lead supervisor, School of Computing Science) and Prof Anil Wipat (co-supervisor, Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology and School of Computing Science). Prior to enrolling at Newcastle I obtained an undergraduate masters degree in Physics (MPhys) from Durham University, UK.
PhD Computing Science, Newcastle University, UK, 2015-present.
Project Title: Parameter Inference and Synthesis for Stochastic Biological Models
MRes. Biosciences, Newcastle University, UK, 2014-2015.
Project Title: Understanding cell fate decisions through stochastic modelling
MPhys. Physics, Durham University, UK, 2010-2014.
Project Title: Modelling Hypervelocity Stars
"Parameter Inference and Synthesis for Stochastic Biological Models"
Parameter inference: we aim to investigate novel computational approaches for parameter inference. Specifically we will begin by investigating a novel approach based on the cross-entropy method. Briefly, the cross-entropy will enable us to find the parameters of the stochastic model ‘closest’ to the real data distribution. In previous work, the cross-entropy method has successfully been used for rare-event probability estimation.
Parameter synthesis: we will investigate a very promising approach that combines decision procedures and verified numerical computation to establish with high precision whether — and eventually how — a model can satisfy design requirements. These will be expressed in temporal logic, a mathematical notation used with much success in hardware verification and which we will adapt to biological applications.