Research Projects

I develop and apply mathematical models of human sperm motility with Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown, research lead of Centre for Human Reproductive Science, Birmingham Women's Hospital and colleagues in Cambridge, Oxford and Warwick. Principal collaborators in this area are Dr Tom Montenegro-Johnson (Cambridge), Dr Eamonn Gaffney and Dr Hermes Gadêlha (Oxford) and Dr Petr Denissenko (Warwick).

I lead an EPSRC-funded Healthcare Technologies Challenge Award, Rapid Sperm Capture (co-I Jackson Kirkman-Brown / industrial collaborator CAIRN Research Ltd.) which will develop new technology to assess human sperm for treatment. Project website to follow over the next few months! The Research Fellows on this project are Dr Meurig Gallagher and Gemma Cupples.

I also work on the closely related subject of the fluid mechanics of cilia-driven flow, particularly their role in left-right symmetry breaking flow in developmental biology, together with international collaborators in Lisbon, Portugal, Morales, Mexico and Granada, Spain (Dr Susana Lopes, Dr Adan Guerrero, Prof. Julyan Cartwright), along with Prof. John Blake (Birmingham), and Dr Kathy Hentges (Manchester).

My other principal research topic is synthetic biology nanofibres in spectroscopy and sensing applications (with Dr Rosemary Dyson, Prof. Tim Dafforn, Dr Matt Hicks, Dr Kenton Arkill, Prof. Mark Simmons, Prof. Alison Rodger). Parts of this work are funded by (1) a BBSRC/Linear Diagnostics Ltd. iCASE studentship to Gemma Cupples (supervisors Smith/Dyson/Hicks) and (2) an EPSRC studentship to Craig Holloway (supervisors Dyson/Smith).

I'm involved in a range of different biofluids, biophysics and biomathematics research projects, including:

  • prediction of graft-versus-host disease in leukaemia treatment (funded by an MRC Programme grant led by Prof. Paul Moss),
  • modelling and mass spectra analysis in endocrinology (with Prof. Wiebke Arlt, Dr Angela Taylor and colleagues),