Blaine Van Rensburg (any pronouns)

Ph.D. student


Blaine Van Rensburg graduated with an MMath from the University of Warwick in 2021, where they completed their Master's thesis titled "Insights into the interplay of error-correction mechanisms in a computational model of chromosome congression." The project involved biomechanical modelling of chromosomes. They investigated how forces acting on the kinetochores of chromosomes can be used as a signal to correct errors in attachment state prior to cell division. 

They have also undertaken summer projects studying cancer evolution, and the transport of alpha synuclein throughout the brain in Parkinson’s disease. 

Research Themes

Research Project

Somatic Evolution in Ageing and Disease

The role of somatic evolution, whereby cells within an organism evolve according to selective pressures, has been well established in cancer biology and has received substantial attention from mathematicians. However, it has only recently been appreciated that somatic evolution contributes to the progression of non-cancerous diseases, particularly inflammatory diseases. 

Blaine's research focuses on applying methods from partial differential equations to reveal the mechanisms by which somatic evolution influences the progression of inflammatory diseases and ageing.