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Dr Paul Sweeney
Roberts Building, UCL
Torrington Place
  • Research Associate
  • Dept of Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Dr Paul Sweeney's research career started within the Department of Mathematics at the University of Southampton where he received his bachelors degree (BSc) in Mathematics, before moving to Imperial College London to complete a masters degree (MSc) in Applied Mathematics. In 2013, he moved institutes to University College London to join a doctoral training programme (Healthcare Engineering for an Ageing Population) to complete a masters of research (MRes) followed by his PhD titled 'Realistic numerical image-based modelling of biological tissue substrates'. Here, under the supervision of Drs Rebecca J. Shipley and Simon Walker-Samuel, he developed and applied a computational platform called REANIMATE, guided by both ex vivo and in vivo imaging data, to simulate fluid and solute transport in silico, based on real-world tissue substrates.

In October 2017, Dr Sweeney took up a Post-doctoral Research Fellow funded by the Rosetrees Trust to develop the REANIMATE platform further and apply it to investigate barriers to successful chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy in pancreatic cancer.

Research Themes
Research Summary

Recent advances in ex vivo optical imaging of cleared tissue specimens have enabled large samples (up to 2 cm3 with > 105 blood vessels) to be imaged in three dimensions, at resolutions down to a few microns. At this scale, capturing the spatial variations across complete tissue samples is especially useful for studying tumours, which can be highly spatially heterogeneous, with functional and structural connections causing significant variability in drug delivery, oxygenation, gene expression and therapeutic response. This complexity requires careful analysis in order to be fully understood, and is most appropriately and naturally approached within a computational modelling framework.

To enable a better understanding of drug delivery, tailored to the complexity and nuances of individual physiological and pathological tissues, Paul's research involves developing computational models to simulate fluid and mass transport which are parameterised against in vivo and ex vivo imaging data. Under the supervision of Drs Rebecca J. Shipley and Simon Walker-Samuel (UCL's Mechanical Engineering and Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, respectively) he developed a image-based computational platform called REANIMATE (REAlistic Numerical Image-based Modelling of biologicAl Tissue substratEs), which has been successfully used to investigate cerebral blood flow regulatory mechanisms and the inherent physical resistance to anti-cancer therapies in whole, real-world tumours.

Teaching Summary

Between 2014 and 2016, Paul Sweeney was an undergraduate tutor for the Mathematical Modelling & Analysis II module as a part of the Faculty of Engineering's Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP).

01-OCT-2017 – 30-SEP-2019 Rosetrees Trust Post-doctoral Research Fellow Mechanical Engineering University College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2018 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Applied Mathematics University College London
2014 MRes Master of Research – Mathematical Modelling University College London
2013 MSc Master of Science – Applied Mathematics Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine
2012 BSc Hons Bachelor of Science – Mathematics University of Southampton
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