Dr Wakil Sarfaraz PhD

Dr Wakil Sarfaraz

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Research Fellow (Mathematical Modeller)

Contact details

Address
Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences
Centre for Computational Biology
Haworth Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham B15 2TT

Wakil Sarfaraz joined the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences (ICGS) in October 2018, where he took up a Mathematical Modelling and Bioinformatics research position. 

Wakil undertakes research on developing and simulating mathematical models that describe the spatiotemporal patterns observed in data acquired from Experimental Haematology. The objective is to understand the dynamics of haematopoietic gene regulatory elements in particular those responsible for cell lineage and specificity. 

Wakil is interested in the applications of modern techniques of system computational biology such as Dynamic Bayesian Networks to explore the epigenetic data through differential study of chromatin structure and protein occupancy. The objective is to reveal in-depth the functional understanding of the genome through applications of the most up-to-date available mathematical and High Performance Computational (HPC) methods. 

Wakil also explores some specific topics in comparative genomics using mathematical modelling and scientific computing. Comparative genomics is the quantitative study of evolutionary genomics, such as the applications of mathematical methods for computing the amount of time that has passed on a pair of present day distinct species, since they genetically branched out of a common identical origin. 

Qualifications

  • Recognised reviewer for the ‘Journal Mathematical Biosciences’, Journal of Theoretical Biology’ and ‘Journal of Biological Systems’
  • Permanent member of the University of Oxford Student-debate Union
  • Visiting member of International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Trieste, Italy
  • PhD in Mathematical Modelling and Computational Biology, University of Sussex
  • MSc in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing, University of Oxford
  • BSc in Mathematics, University of Sussex

Biography

Wakil Sarfaraz completed a BSc in Mathematics at the University of Sussex in 2013 and was subsequently admitted for a masters program in Mathematical Modelling and Scientific Computing (MSc. MMSC.) at the University of Oxford, which was completed in 2014. His interest in Mathematical Modelling and Computational Biology originates from his time at the University of Oxford, where he took most of the optional modules and case studies on topics concerning Mathematical Biology and Computational Simulations. Wakil returned to the University of Sussex in 2014 after the completion of his MSc, in order to read for a PhD in Mathematical Modelling and Computational Biology. 

In spite of evidence for exceptional performance, during the course of PhD at Sussex, Wakil also participated in peer-reviewing manuscripts for various journals alongside his PhD supervisor Professor Anotida Madzvamuse. It was therefore, that the Director for Research and Knowledge Exchange at Sussex hired Wakil upon the submission of his PhD thesis (during and after viva preparation) on a research impact project that was funded by Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF). This temporary appointment was a grade-7 position before the award of PhD and was mainly to prepare a detailed technical documentation for a python based open-source software, which was developed at Sussex.  The technical documentation serves as a specialised user-guide for scientists to benefit from the software in interdisciplinary research based on experimental data and modelling approaches.

Alongside his formal research and taught courses of education, Wakil has consistently undertaken teaching responsibilities at Sussex University in various modules at BSc and MSc levels in Mathematics.  Wakil also served as a private Mathematics and Physics tutor for students taking GCSE and A-Level exams through various national and international exam boards such as OCR, Edexel and etc. Wakil has privately trained numerous candidates for Oxbridge undergraduate entrance exams in the subjects of Physics and Mathematics. 

Wakil’s interest in research extends to exploring the synaptic signalling of neurons through simulating mathematical models and parameter estimation through the application of full Bayesian inferential statistics. In particular the synaptic signalling induced by the release of a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Research in this direction naturally entails in-depth understanding of the relevant laws and equations of biochemistry, which is also an area of his interest for further research. 

Outside academia, Wakil served from 2014 to 2016 as the secretary of Brighton and Hove Afghan Community (BHAC) in the city of Brighton. He stepped down as a secretary in 2016 and assumed the chair of elected president within the same organisation. Wakil maintains a YouTube channel providing help on high school level Mathematics for communities that are deprived from access to formal institute-based education.

Immediately upon the completion of PhD from Sussex, Wakil started a full-time Research Fellow (Modeller) position in 2018 at the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and Centre for Computational Biology at the University of Birmingham.

Teaching

  • 2015-2016:  Numerical Analysis II, Introduction to probability and Introduction to pure Mathematics for undergraduates, University of Sussex, Brighton
  • 2016-2017: Linear algebra, Financial computing with MATLAB (MSc Course), Geometry, Complex analysis, Calculus I, University of Sussex, Brighton
  • 2015-2018: Part-time private tutoring Edexel and OCR A-Level Mathematics and Physics.
  • 2015-2018: Private tutoring for potential candidates taking the Oxbridge mathematics and physics entrance exam.

Research

  • Numerical methods for systems of ODEs and PDEs
  • Mesh adaptation on irregular geometries 
  • Bifurcation theory and stability analysis
  • Harmonic analysis
  • Mathematical modelling of biological processes
  • Electrochemistry and voltammetry
  • Scientific Computing
  • Applications of reaction-diffusion theory on stationary and evolving domains
  • Dynamical systems
  • Parameter optimisation through Bayesian inferential statistics and maximum likelihood
  • Some topics in mathematical and theoretical physics, such as General relativity, least action principle, Lagrange and Hamilton equations 

Other activities

  • President of Brighton and Hove Afghan Community (BHAC)
  • Permanent membership of Oxford Union, University of Oxford

Publications

For a list of publications, please refer to Google Scholar Site

View all publications in research portal