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Thalesians Seminar (London) — Esther Wershof — Explaining and stopping pattern formation in tumours.

Esther Wershof

Esther Wershof

Date and Time

Wednesday, July 25, 2018, at 6:30 p.m.


Marriott Hotel, Canary Wharf London, UK

You can register for this event and pay online on


Tumours comprise not only cancer cells, but many other types of cells. These other cells are not in themselves cancerous (mutated) but work for the cancer helping it to thrive, creating a society of workers with different jobs to perform. Some of these worker cells are able to self-organise into patterns that make the cancer more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Understanding how these patterns emerge requires multi-scale mathematical modelling in order to pinpoint how tumours can be manipulated and restricted in their growth. We will look at how such a model is developed as a partnership with biologists and the insights it has been able to provide.


Esther Wershof is a third year PhD student at the Francis Crick Institute, having previously studied maths at undergraduate and postgraduate level at Warwick University. She took the leap into medical research after realising that stopping the spread of disease was fundamentally a mathematical problem – one that she wanted to contribute to solving. Her favourite thing about her PhD is getting to work with people who think very differently – (biologists, chemists and even artists), bouncing ideas off each other and marvelling as a synergy takes place. When she's not creating her own biological patterns, you can find Esther looking at other people’s patterns in the Tate Modern. One of her most recent collaborations has lead to the construction of a virtual reality art experience where participants can climb inside and alter cell patterns in the body.

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