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Ms Linda Wanika,  

Research Student (PhD)

School of Engineering
University of Warwick

Room: D229
Fax: +44 (0)24 76 524560

Current Research: Meta-analysis of Uncommon Adverse Events Supervisors: Prof Mike Chappell (School of Engineering, Warwick), Dr Neil Evans (School of Engineering, Warwick) and Dr Martin Johnson (AstraZeneca, Cambridge).

My research focuses on the application of modelling and data analysis to drug-induced lower respiratory diseases such as interstitial lung disease. Some cancer patients who are receiving tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) as their treatment develop lower respiratory diseases as an adverse event. These events can decrease the patient’s ability to breathe, cause a suspension from their treatment, and unfortunately in some cases, lead to death. The mechanisms behind TKI-induced lower respiratory diseases is not fully understood. My aim is to investigate possible factors and correlations as to why certain patients experience these adverse events using systems modelling and data analytics techniques.

Past Research

Creating a model that characterises parallel elimination Supervisor: Prof Mike Chappell
2017  As part of the MSc Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

This mini-project involved using a computer tool to create and test a compartmental model that could characterise and simulate parallel elimination during the metabolism of drugs. This model was based around the use of nonlinear Michaelis Menten kinetics and was able to generate model parameter estimates for dissociation constants (KD) for potentially four enzymes. These KD estimates suggest that there were different pathways of elimination for the drug. This outcome indicates that the model was able to predict parallel elimination and that it could be built upon to provide other clinically significant mechanistic characterisations. 

Investigating the relationship between astrocytes and neuroplasticity Supervisor: Dr Yuriy Pankratov (School of Life Sciences, Warwick)
2017  As part of the Msc Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

In this mini-project, I investigated the interactions between astrocytes and neuroplasticity using Long Term Potentiation (LTP). In the past, astrocytes have been known to function as the “supportive cells” in the nervous system. During recent times however, astrocytes have been shown to be able to release transmitters such as GABA and Glycine. LTP is thought to be the mechanism by which the brain is able to learn new things. The results from this study show that there was a decrease in LTP when there was a mutation in the astrocytes’ functionality. This suggests that astrocytes are important for learning and neuroplasticity.

Source: Linda Wanika