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.

Mark Robertson-Tessi

Mark is a Research Scientist, 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.


Eunjung Kim

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 A. Gallaher

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.


Chandler Gatenbee

Chandler received his Masters is Biological Anthropology at the University of Utah, followed by a Ph.D in Biology at the University of Louisville. He is a Research Scientist whose work is focused on tumor-immune eco-evolutionary dynamics. He uses population models, agent based models, and evolutionary game theory to study how tumors evolve the ability to escape immune predation, and the subsequent treatment implications. This is complemented by the development of tools to process and analyze histology. Ecological analyses can be conducted on the data collected by these tools, and the findings can be used to inform and verify modeling decisions and predictions, respectively. It is hoped that the integration of modeling and data will produce actionable insights that can be used treat, and ideally prevent, cancer.


Jeffrey West

Jeffrey is a postdoc who joined the lab in August 2017. Trained as an engineer with his undergraduate degree from Ohio Northern University, he continued to study dynamical systems under his PhD advisor Paul Newton at the University of Southern California. During his PhD, he helped develop non-spatial game theoretic models of tumor progression and chemotherapeutic response as well as Markov chain models of tumor metastasis. During his time at Moffitt he hopes to continue developing game theory models with the goal of better understanding treatment implication from an evolutionary and ecological perspective in close collaboration with experimentalists and clinicians here.


Derek Park

Derek joined the lab in October 2013 with an interest in working at the interface between theoretical modeling and clinical care and will be co-superivised by Bob Gatenby. He completed his undergraduate work at Yale University under the guidance of Dr. Paul Turner to study immune interactions with oncoloytic viruses. His research interests now are creating models for treatment decisions in breast cancer. The goal is to formalize currently heuristic methods with data collected in the clinic and also use biological models that predict treatment responses. Derek is now an Oxford DPhil cadidate in Zoology, jointly supervised by me, Philip Maini and Mike Bonsall.


Casey Adam

Casey joined the lab in September 2015 as a research trainee (though she previously completed two summers here as a SPARK intern) and is excited to work under the guidance of Mark Robertson-Tessi in an effort to understand the role of metabolism in immune resistance both experimentally and theoretically. In May 2015, she received her Bachelor of Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a dual major in math and biology. She enjoys cell culture along with mathematical modeling, and plans to pursue a PhD as well as a career doing both. She is delighted to have the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary institute and learn from everyone at Moffitt and the IMO!


Ryan Schenck

Ryan joined the lab in March 2016 as a research intern while he completed his Master of Science degree in the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology program at the University of South Florida’s College of Medicine. Upon graduation in August of 2016 he transitioned to a Research Associate with the lab. Ryan is working to integrate bioinformatic and computational biology techniques in genetics, genomics, and immunology into theoretical modeling with the goal of translating this multi-disciplinary approach into clinical care. Ryan received his Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology before beginning graduate school in the College of Marine Biology at the University of South Florida where he researched the diversity of ssDNA viruses. Ryan plans on obtaining a PhD where all of his experiences can be leveraged in the fight against cancer.


Rafael Bravo

Rafael joined the lab as a Research Associate in September 2016. His focus is on designing efficient agent based models for biological research. As an undergraduate (Rutgers NB) he worked with David Axelrod on developing an agent based model of early progression of colon cancer. His Computer Science Master's thesis, mentored by Jefferey Schank, (UC Davis) explored the effects of added complexity on the evolution of an artificial life ecosystem. At the IMO, Rafael is working on creating a generalized framework to accelerate model development and unify several projects. He plans to continue collaborating and using his modeling skills to study cancer.


Maximilian Strobl

Maxi is a DPhil student interested in the role of the microenvironment in conferring drug resistance to tumors. He joined the lab in May 2017 as part of the Systems Approaches in Biomedical Science Doctoral Training Centre and is jointly supervised by me and Philip Maini. He completed his undergraduate degree in Mathematics at the University of St Andrews, UK, during which he worked with Dr. Daniel Barker on algorithms for phylogeny constructions. Subsequently, in 2015 Maxi pursued a Masters in Mathematical Modeling at the University of Oxford. There, he first learned about the IMO and had the opportunity to write his Masters Thesis under the supervision of Dr. Anderson and Prof. Maini on the evolution of collaboration between tumor subpopulations. Having thoroughly enjoyed the experience, Maxi is now looking forward to applying a suite of machine learning, statistics, and modeling techniques to study drug resistance in ovarian cancer.


Alexandra Ardasheva

Sasha is a DPhil student from the University of Oxford and has joined the lab in July 2017 to work on the short rotation project as part of Systems Approaches in Biomedical Science Doctoral Training Centre program. Sasha is interested in understanding the influence of variations in blood flow on tumour structure, evolution, and adaptive strategies of cancer cells in changing environments. Her work is jointly supervised by Philip Maini, Robert Gatenby and Alexander Anderson. In 2016 Sasha graduated with a degree in astrophysics from the University of St Andrews, UK, where she modelled the influence of lightning events on the atmospheres of planets supervised by Dr. Christiane Helling. At IMO, Sasha is interested in learning the biology behind the cancer from multidisciplinary perspective, utilising the agent-based framework to model metabolic phenoypte variations, and, ulitmately ,use the model as a guide for in vitro experiments.