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Dr Rebecca Shipley
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Torrington Place
  • Reader in Biomechanics
  • Dept of Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Dr Rebecca Shipley's research career started within the Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, University of Oxford, where she received a First Class Honours Masters degree (Mathematics), before completing her DPhil (PhD) working on multisclae mathematical models of blood flow and drug delivery in vascularised tissues. During this time, she developed a passion for interdisciplinary research around the application of mathematical models in medicine. In 2008 she took up a Junior Research Fellowship at Christ Church College, University of Oxford, to develop mathematical models that describe biomechanical and biochemical stimulation of tissues. During this time, Dr Shipley also gained practical experimental experience through two concurrent Visiting Research Fellowships at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Bath, and Tissue Repair and Engineering Centre, UCL. Her research on integrating mathematical models with experimental data inform the design of bioreactors for tissue engineering led to the award of Young Researcher of the Year for the UK Tissue and Cell Engineering Society in July 2011. In May 2012, Dr Shipley took up her Lectureship position within the Biomechanical Engineering Group at UCL Mechanical Engineering, where she now leads an interdisciplinary research group on the development and application of mathematical models in medicine. 

Research Summary

Rebecca's research is predominantly divided into two themes. First of all, she works on tumour blood flow and therapy predictions. Her group are developing new models using sophisticated mathematical averaging methods and closely integrating them with high resolution in vivo and ex vivo imaging data to ensure they are parameterised and tested, and can be used as a tool to better understand and interrogate cancer therapies. This involved a close collaboration with Dr Simon Walker-Samuel from the UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Engineering; together, they have established the research group SCALES (Simulating Cancer Across Length SCALES), which brings together a team of mathematicians, medical imagers and cancer biologists in this area. In 2016, Rebecca and Simon were awarded the Rosetrees Trust Interdisciplinary Prize 2016 for research at the interface of maths/ computer science and medicine, for their project on Barriers to Successful CAR T-Cell Therapy in Pancreatic Cancer.

Secondly, Rebecca conducts both mathematical modelling and experimental studies to characterise the link between cellular environment and tissue function in tissue-engineering. Through collaboration with Dr James Phillips (UCL Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering), we are combining mathematical modelling, in vitro and in vivo experiments to design and test engineered constructs for peripheral nerve repair. In 2016, Rebecca was awarded an EPSRC grant on New Mathematical Models to Direct the Design of Peripheral Nerve Repair Conduits.

Teaching Summary

Rebecca Shipley has led the development of the Biomechanical Engineering Minors as part of the Undergraduate Integrated Engineering Programme at UCL. She is module coordinator and lecturer for the 2nd year course, Fundamentals of Biomechanical Engineering, and also lead's the Departmental provision for the 2nd year course, Mathematical Modelling and Analysis.

01-MAY-2012 Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering Mechanical Engineering University College London, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2008 – 30-APR-2012 Junior Research Fellow Mathematical Institute Christ Church College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2009 DPhil Doctor of Philosophy – Mathematical Modelling  
2005 MMath Master of Mathematics – Mathematics St. Hugh's College, Oxford
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