Developing New Mathematical Methods to Understand Patient-specific Epileptic Networks
This project uses novel-multidisciplinary approaches to engineer a theoretical framework to better understand the relationship between patient specific epileptic networks and their seizure dynamics. It aims to improve understanding of the underlying neurodynamics and facilitate the development of novel therapeutic treatments and interventions, such as seizure biomarkers. Specifically, a new mathematical framework to examine the link between connectivity and dynamics in a local cortical network with respect to seizure-transitions will be developed. We are particularly interested in understanding and quantifying how pathological activity, such as coherent oscillations seen in seizures, emerge from normal brain activity. Generating a better understanding of the role of patient specific connectivities and developing seizure biomarkers will enable researchers to advance patient specific diagnosis and prognosis outcomes for epilepsy patients.
I completed my dual Bachelor's degrees in Mathematics and Physics at QUT, and knew I wanted to apply my skills to a real-world problem. I have a strong interest in using multidisciplinary techniques to model brain function and dysfunction. My goal is to formulate and translate theoretical models to be used in neuroscience, particularly with respect to brain disease. I then completed a MSc of Biomedical Science at the Department of Medicine, at St Vincent's Hospital, supervised by Dr Andre Peterson and Prof. Anthony Burkitt. This thesis was on the use of novel-multidisciplinary modelling techniques to understand the transition to seizure in epilepsy patients. In my PhD I aim to bring together my quantitative skills in mathematics and computing and apply these to neuroscience in order to address clinical problems involving understanding and treating epilepsy.
Isabelle Harris, PhD Candidate
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St Vincent's Hospital
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