Computer simulation can be used to complement purely biological approaches to explore dynamically the complex nature of cell division and differentiation. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-malignant expansion of the prostate with no known cause, is the major chronic disease of the ageing male population. Previous cancer studies undertaken at York have shown that BPH may result from persistent expansion of stem cells. The project will adapt a state-of-the-art simulator to explore the stromal cell dynamics implicated in BPH and to simulate the effects on cell dynamics of new BPH drug treatments, in advance of or in parallel with clinical trials.
Simulator designed, but not fully implemented: subsequent prototype developed by an intern Summer 2013, and being calibrated by an CS undergrad project student (2013-14); further prototype development by another CS project student (2013-14).
Novel cell staining and counting still under development (materials funded by the C2D2 grant): 30-fold increase in cell counts for prostate tissue over any previous published results.
Currently working on collaborations with York Plasma Institute for simulation of effects of cold plasma excision (proposal to be submitted to YCR Jan 2014). White Rose based collaborations in early stages of development (meetings Jan 2014).
None (2 interns: both continuing their degrees)
Leverhulme, May 2013. PI: Fiona Polack: Simulators to complement laboratory research on complex biological systems (SimComp). £182,482. Oct2013-Dec 2015 (would be delayed if gets through pre-selection... realistic start date is probably March 2014). pFact 14537. REJECTED
Refereed paper presented at Modelling the Physical World at Models, 2012 (https://sites.google.com/site/motpw2012/motpw2012-pre-polack.pdf?attredirects=0).
Biological results will be published in due course.