Combining Mathematics and Biology to Create a New Weapon in the Fight Against Brain Cancer

Carlton Cross

Dr. Andrea Hawkins-Daarud

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive form of primary brain tumors and monitoring them over time and through treatment remains difficult due to the obscuring lens of clinical imaging. Here we consider a continuum model of gliomblastoma growth and its associated edema, or swelling, to help in interpreting imaging changes after treatment affecting the tumor's vasculature. We also discuss possible implications for selection of this therapy for individual patients.

Andrea Hawkins-Daarud has two fields of love: biology and mathematics. She is currently trying to utilize computer code to generate answers to complex biological problems with mathematical descriptions. Andrea received her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in Computational Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics in 2011 and is now in the process of completing postdoc with Dr. Kristin Swanson at Northwestern University in Chicago IL. Her current work focuses on mathematical modeling on the tissue level of brain cancer, but she also has interest in Bayesian statistics and incorporating uncertainty into her model predictions.

To read more about her and her current work visit