Meet The Group
Below you'll find a short bio of each of the members of the Anderson lab.
Alexander R. A. Anderson (PI)
Chair of the Integrated Mathematical Oncology (IMO) department and Senior member at Moffitt Cancer Center. Dr. Anderson performed his doctoral work on hybrid mathematical models of nematode movement in heterogeneous environments at the Scottish Crop Research Institute in Dundee, UK. His postdoctoral work was on hybrid models of tumor-induced angiogenesis with Prof. Mark Chaplain at Bath University, UK. He moved back to Dundee in 1996 where he worked for the next 12 years on developing mathematical models of many different aspects of tumor progression and treatment, including anti-angiogenesis, radiotherapy, tumor invasion, evolution of aggressive phenotypes and the role of the microenvironment. He is widely recognized as one of only a handful of mathematical oncologists that develop truly integrative models that directly impact upon biological experimentation. His pioneering work using evolutionary hybrid cellular automata models has led to new insights into the role of the tumor microenvironment in driving tumor progression. Due to his belief in the crucial role of mathematical models in cancer research he moved his group to the Moffitt Cancer Center in 2008 to establish the Integrated Mathematical Oncology department.
Just got promoted to faculty and is now an assistant member at the Integrated Mathematical Oncology (IMO) department, take a look at his own lab pages here. He got his undergraduate degree in computer science from the University of Oviedo (Spain) with a thesis on information processing and, after a rather brief stay in industry, performed doctoral work on evolution inspired computing at the department of mechanical engineering at King's College London (University of London, UK). After his PhD, his work shifted to the study of the evolutionary dynamics of cancer, first at the Technical University of Dresden (Germany) and eventually in Sandy Anderson's group (now at Moffitt). David uses mathematical tools such as Cellular Automata and Evolutionary Game Theory to study how the interactions between tumour cells and other tumour cells and with the tumour microenvironment drive the evolution towards potentially more aggressive cancers. His work has provided novel insights on the role of homeostasis as a set of mechanisms that need to be disrupted during carcinogenesis, and on competition and cooperation's effect on the progression of cancers like glioma and prostate.
Joined the group in October of 2009, but I felt integrated from the minute I walked throught the door! I came because the ideology of the group is to apply mathematical modeling to practical problems in biology. The other benefit is to be surrounded by actual biologists and even real doctors! This gives the kind of insight that I've never had access to before (and hopefully plenty of hard data to follow). I came from Dresden, Germany most recently where I was working on developmental biology with Andreas Deutsch and Andy Oates. I used the cellular Potts model, which I am now applying to tumour modelling, with a focus on stromal interaction. Before Germany I was in Bloomington, Indiana. There I was looking at models of biochemistry with Santiago Schnell: investigating enzyme action. This style of model is proving useful for understanding the effect of drug application on cell cultures. My doctorate in Philip Maini's group in Oxford was looking at spatial pattern formation with John Norbury. I was interested in travelling wave invasions of pattern. This exploration will give a foundation to a model for predicting clinical progression.
Mark is a Postdoctoral fellow, who joined the lab in August 2010. Mark’s research interests include tumor-immune interactions, angiogenesis, cellular invasion, and cellular metabolism. For his doctoral work at the University of Arizona with Alain Goriely (now at Oxford) and Ardith El-Kareh, he developed a continuous model of the interactions between T cells and a growing tumor. The model investigates the effects of immunosuppression, and the efficacy of the immune system during chemotherapy and various immunotherapies. His undergraduate work was in physics, mathematics, and astronomy. He joined the IMO department because of the rich opportunity for interdisciplinary work in oncology, and is eager to establish working relationships with colleagues in the experimental and clinical environments at Moffitt. His research at Moffitt includes using the window-chamber model to model and investigate the relationship of angiogenesis, tumor microenvironment and tumor invasion.
Postdoctoral fellow, who joined the lab in September 2010. Eunjung originally came from S. Korea. She performed her doctoral work on soft tissue mechanics at North Carolina State University with Mansoor Haider, during which she developed continuous models to study the mechanics of cell/extracelluar matrix interactions. She also utilized optimization methods to determine the elastic properties of the matrix around the cells. After earning her PhD, she moved to University of Notre Dame, Indiana, where she worked on hybrid mathematical models of blood clot formation with Mark Alber and Zhilang Xu. She joined the IMO department in order to pursue her research interests in a more multidisciplinary environment. She appreciates the ample opportunities IMO offers to closely work with biologists. Her current research project involves modeling the multistep process of melanoma tumorigenesis, with a particular focus on the role of stromal cell aging and the malignant transformation of normal melanocytes.
Jill joined the lab in December 2010 as a postdoctoral fellow. She is excited about the opportunity to meet and form collaborations with other researchers and clinicians at Moffitt. She received an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Missouri and a doctorate in biomedical physics from East Carolina University. For her thesis, she worked with Martin Bier studying ion traffic across cell membranes. The modeling of nonlinear phenomenon (i.e. phase transitions, hysteresis, noise) in the electrical properties of cells with various environments led to ideas about maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Now with a focus on cancer research, she's building an off-lattice cellular automata model to investigate the inheritance of phenotypic traits. Tumors are composed of phenotypically heterogeneous populations that compete for space and resources. Inheritance schemes can be tested by Investigating how the distribution of subpopulations change in a growing tumor over time. By also including repopulation after treatment into her model, the emergence and maintenance of drug resistance can be simulated.
Ziv joined the lab in March 2012 as a postdoctoral fellow. He received his MSc and PhD degrees from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. During his time at the Weizmann he developed a computational tool for modeling and analysing complex molecular machine systems determined in three-dimensions as well as analysing the architecture of complex networks. He is excited about the challenge of cancer and how modeling tumor progression can aid the development of better treatments. A central premise for his work is to understand and predict the different cellular, chemical or physical microenvironment features of agressive tumors. Working primarily on prostate cancer his project will be truly data driven and includes direct collaboration with a pathologist and a cancer biologist. He will be co-superivised by David Basanta, who led the development of our intial prostate cancer model and will continue to play a key role in this research area.
Jacob joined the lab informally in December 2009 as a clinical radiation oncology resident with an interest in modeling. In July 2011 he will formally join the lab as a PhD student, being jointly supervised by me and Philip Maini (Oxford University, UK). The goal of his thesis is to develop and explore mathematical models of the process of cancer metastasis in three distinct steps - primary tumor progression culminating with entrance into the blood stream, a circulatory phase and finally the extravasation and colony formation in foreign stroma. Jake does have a background in engineering and physics but as an MD brings a fresh clinically focussed perspective to IMO, as a radition oncology resident he treats patients with radiation on a daily basis with advanced stages of cancer progression. His unique skill-set has allowed him to initiate and participate in several projects that integrate multiple disciplines. Take a look at his personal site for more details.
Suzie joined the lab in October 2010 as a LINK student and is currently doing her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of South Florida. She is currently developing models of normal immune system dynamics, working closely with Mark Robertson-Tessi. Suzie was fortunate enough to get selected for the LINK program at Moffitt thus allowing her to integrate both of her interests (biology and mathematics) in a single lab.
Noemi is an undergraduate student from Politecnico di Torino who joined the lab in September 2011. She is our first International Visiting Scholar and will doing 6 months of research as part of her Master of Science in Mathematical Modeling for Engineering. This will be an ideal opportunity for her to apply her recent knowledge of mathematical modelling in new areas of mathematical oncology.