Moore of AstraZeneca to Discuss Cancer Immunotherapy and Optimizing Combination Drug Regimens

Posted on 1/24/2019 12:51:06 PM

Helen Moore, principal scientist at AstraZeneca, will meet with students and faculty and give two lectures on Thursday, February 7, 2019, in room 226/229, Stright Hall. Moore’s visit is part of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Visiting Lecture program.

From 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. Moore will informally chat with students and faculty about her work in the biopharma industry.  At 4:30 she will speak on “Using Mathematics to Predict Which Cancer Patients Will Respond to Immunotherapy.” This talk is suitable for general audiences. In this talk she will present a simple mathematical model of tumor dynamics with data gathered from patients. Combining the model with a machine learning technique, she will show how to create an early predictor of response/non-response. 

From 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Moore with speak on “How to Mathematically Optimize Combination Drug Regimens.” This talk is suitable for those with a calculus background. Combination regimens are increasingly important as we try to combat resistance in viral diseases and cancer. In this talk she will present a mathematical model for the disease-therapy dynamics, and apply optimal control to predict the regimen that will perform the best according a specified goal. 

Helen Moore graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her PhD in mathematics in 1995 from Stony Brook University. Her original work in differential geometry focused on shapes that minimize volume under certain constraints. Over a period of 11 years in academia, she won two teaching awards and received a National Science Foundation grant for her research. While at Stanford University, she began collaborating with faculty in the medical school, and she shifted her use of optimization techniques to apply them to therapies for cancer, HIV, and hepatitis C.

In 2006, Moore entered the biopharma industry. She first worked at Genentech, and then Pharsight/Certara in California. Moore moved to the east coast in 2014 to work for Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, New Jersey, and moved near Boston, Massachusetts, in 2018 to work for AstraZeneca. Moore was named a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2018. Her current areas of work are mathematical modeling of tumor dynamics, optimization of combination regimens, and quantitative evaluation of predictive mathematical models.

Mathematics Department