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Sara-Jane Dunn

Personal photo - Sara-Jane Dunn

Sara-Jane Dunn

Doctoral Student

Leaving date: 16th August 2012


Mathematical modelling     --     Cancer     --     Chaste

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is thought to originate via genetic alterations that cause disruption to the dynamics of the crypts of Lieberkuhn, test-tube shaped glands that line the small and large intestine. It is believed that during carcinogenesis,cells accumulate genetic mutations that destabilise cell-cell contacts and disturb division and migration. The resulting abnormal behaviour can increase stress on the walls of the crypt, causing buckling. Such dysplastic crypts can allow the formation of a benign adenoma if mutated cells do not leave the crypt as they should, but rather persist and proliferate in a localised area. Over time and via accumulated mutations, such a growth can progress to a malignant lesion that can break through to the underlying tissue stroma, and so aid metastasis. To provide insight into the tissue-level effects of the initial genetic mutations, a multi-scale model of the crypt with a realistic, deformable geometry is required. My research concerns the development of such a model, and its usefulness as a predictive tool to further the understanding of interactions across spatial scales in the context of CRC.

Selected Publications

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