Systems Modelling and Quantitative Biomedicine

This theme is based around the newly-established Centre for Systems Modelling and Quantitative Biomedicine (SMQB), and pursues a ‘systems approach’ to basic biomedical research as well as clinical translation, with an emphasis on mathematical and statistical modelling, machine learning and data science, and biophysical imaging and image analysis.

Theme LeadJohn-Terry

Professor John Terry

Interdisciplinary Professorial Fellow

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About our research

The new Centre for Systems Modelling and Quantitative Biomedicine (SMQB) was established in late 2019 by John Terry (Interdisciplinary Professorial Fellow) and has facilitated the transfer of 4 independent research fellows (holding MRC and UKRI Fellowships), as well as the recruitment of 4 additional research fellows. Professor Terry’s move has also facilitated the transfer of the EPSRC Centre for Predictive Modelling in Healthcare and an Innovate UK-supported project with industry partner Neuronostics.

The Centre pursues a ‘systems approach’ to basic biomedical research as well as clinical translation, with an emphasis on mathematical and statistical modelling, machine learning and data science, and biophysical imaging and image analysis. Current research focus for the Centre falls within three main themes: i) mathematical and computational modelling; ii) endocrinology, metabolism and reproduction; iii) neuroscience and neurology. Mathematics and computer science provide tools that enable us to reveal from observational data the fundamental mechanistic principles that govern the behaviour of biomedical systems.

They also allow us to make predictions about perturbations that cause these systems to breakdown and lead to disease. Within the domain of endocrinology, metabolism and reproduction this includes understanding the mechanisms governing the human stress response, the properties of sperm motion that facilitate pregnancy and live births, the mechanisms by which fats of different shapes and sizes cause cellular dysfunction and death, how networks of beta cells within pancreatic islets co-ordinate their activity and facilitate insulin secretion and a holistic approach to understanding how hormones, cells, tissues and organs work collectively as a network.

The Centre’s flagship research incubator was inspired by business equivalents but repurposed for the specific needs of co-designing and co-creating research projects at the interface between quantitative disciplines and biomedical and clinical research. The incubator is a six-month focussed period of research where investigators from complementary disciplines, as well as other stakeholders from industry and the clinic, are paired with one or more of our Centre Fellows. Centre Fellows provide the critical expertise needed to take the project from concept to delivery and by the end of six months teams will have preliminary results suitable for both publication and application for onward funding. A new artist in residence scheme is being trialled for the current incubator (running February to August 2020).


Dynamic responses of the adrenal steroidogenic regulatory network. Spiga F, Zavala E, Walker JJ, Zhao Z, Terry JR, Lightman SL. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Aug 1;114(31):E6466-E6474.

An optimal strategy for epilepsy surgery: Disruption of the rich-club? Lopes MA, Richardson MP, Abela E, Rummel C, Schindler K, Goodfellow M, Terry JR PLoS Comput Biol. 2017 Aug 17;13(8):e1005637.

Background EEG Connectivity Captures the Time-Course of Epileptogenesis in a Mouse Model of Epilepsy. Słowiński P, Sheybani L, Michel CM, Richardson MP, Quairiaux C, Terry JR*, Goodfellow M*. eNeuro. 2019 6(4):1-13. pii: ENEURO.0059-19.2019.

Revealing epilepsy type using a computational analysis of interictal EEG. Lopes MA, Perani S, Yaakub SN, Richardson MP, Goodfellow M, Terry JR. Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 15;9(1):10169.

Convolutional neural networks for reconstruction of undersampled optical projection tomography data applied to in vivo imaging of zebrafish. Davis SPX, Kumar S, Alexandrov Y, Bhargava A, da Silva Xavier G, Rutter GA, Frankel P, Sahai E, Flaxman S, French PMW, McGinty J. J Biophotonics. 2019 Aug 6:e201900128. doi: 10.1002/jbio.201900128. [Epub ahead of print]

The role that choice of model plays in predictions for epilepsy surgery. Junges L, Lopes MA, Terry JR*, Goodfellow M*. Sci Rep. 2019 May 14;9(1):7351.

Evolving dynamic networks: An underlying mechanism of drug resistance in epilepsy? Woldman W, Cook MJ, Terry JR. Epilepsy Behav. 2019 May;94:264-268.

A bioinformatics workflow to decipher transcriptomic data from vitamin D studies. Muñoz García A, Eijssen LM, Kutmon M, Sarathy C, Cengo A, Hewison M, Evelo CT, Lenz M, Coort SL. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2019 May;189:28-35.

The Role of Excitability and Network Structure in the Emergence of Focal and Generalized Seizures, Lopes M, Junges L, Woldman W, Goodfellow M and Terry J Front. Neurol., 11 February 2020

Statistical testing approach for fractional anomalous diffusion classification. Weron A, Janczura J, Boryczka E, Sungkaworn T, Calebiro D. Phys Rev E. 2019 Apr;99(4-1):042149. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.99.042149.

(*) = joint senior author