Dr Sean Mcginty
- Lecturer (Biomedical Engineering)
Summary of Research Interests
I am applied mathematician with a passion for using mathematics to help understand biological processes, disease and treatment.
My work is multi-disciplinary and involves collaborating with mathematicians, life scientists, engineers, clinicians and industry. I have expertise in modelling flow and mass transport in a number of biological applications, including cardiovascular medical implants, and in the areas of drug delivery and drug discovery, physiological flows and bioreactor cell culture systems. Most recently I have become interested in host-parasite interactions, in collaboration with Prof Simon Croft at the London School of Hygiene and tropical Medicine.
As new theoretical challenges have arisen in these areas, I have developed novel mathematical and computational approaches to meet these, and my work has therefore spanned across several branches of mathematics including continuum mechanics, mathematical biology, numerical and complex analysis. As well as the development of appropriate numerical methods, an important feature of my work is the use of analytical mathematical techniques (e.g. non-dimensionalisation, asymptotics and sensitivity analysis) to provide added value and to simplify the models whilst still capturing the important features.
My work is currently focussed on transforming the performance of medical implants; refining and improving the costly drug development process; and better understanding heart disease and intervention.
I am particularly interested in modelling implants which deliver drugs/therapeutics, to assist with device design and to help devise optimisation strategies for controlled release. I have strong expertise in coronary drug-eluting stents (DES) and my models have recently been used to inform the design of a novel DES.
I am a member of both the EPSRC Mathematical Sciences Strategic Advisory team (SAT) and the EPSRC Mathematical Sciences Early Career Forum, and a fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (FIMA designation).
I am currently the Director of CMALS (Centre for Mathematics applied to the Life Sciences), a Scottish centre whose mission is to promote interdisciplinary research and scholarship in Mathematical Biology.
I am a founder member and co-director of the European Special Interest Group StentSIG, which is supported by the European Consortium for Mathematics in Industry (ECMI). Additionally, I recently acted as Guest Editor on the Feb 2016 Annals of Biomedical Engineering Special Issue "Medical Stents: State of the Art and Future Directions"
Research Impact, Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement
I have a track record of collaborating with companies and clinicians to ensure that my work remains relevant and is driven by need. In addition, I engage with the general public to inspire the next generation of scientists and to showcase the value of my work.
I am very keen to hear from excellent students who wish to study for a PhD with me. Enquiries are warmly welcomed, although prospective students should investigate potential funding and/or scholarships (if required) before getting in touch.
• The Carnegie Trust (2018), Mathematical modelling of sonoporation for a liquid crystal shell microbubble
• EPSRC GCF ISF (2016-2017), Improved modelling for the design of optimized next generation drug-eluting stents
• The Dr Hadwen Trust (2016), In-silico characterisation of the Kirkstall QV900 in-vitro system for advanced cell culture
• NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Research Endowment Fund (2016-2017), Investigating the potential of mathematical modelling for the analysis of congenital heart disease
• EU COST Action TD1409 MI-NET (2015-2016), Mathematical modelling training week with industry
• EPSRC IAA (2016), Understanding the potential benefits of using bispecific versus monospecific antibodies (with Glaxosmithkline)
• EPSRC IAA (2016), Modelling drug penetration in 3D hepatocyte spheroids (with AstraZeneca)
• EPSRC POEMS Network Funding (2015), Computational modelling in healthcare: Making confident predictions in a world of error and uncertainty
• EPSRC IAA New Company Engagement (2014-2015), Simulating complex flow and absorption in quasi-vivo cell culture systems (with Kirkstall Ltd.)
• Royal Society (2014-2016), Modelling drug release from polymer-free drug-eluting stents
- Dr James Cowley
PhD Students (as first supervisor)
- David King
- Lauren Hyndman
- Alistair McQueen
- ENG1063: Engineering Mathematics 1
- ENG4085: Integrated Systems Design Project 4 (ISDP4)
- ENG2098: Engineering in Biology 2
Mathematics for Industry PhD Modelling Week - Call for Applications
University of Glasgow, UK
12th-16th September 2016
Description. The Centre for Mathematics Applied to the Life Sciences (CMALS), in conjunction with SofTMech, is delighted to announce that the University of Glasgow will be hosting a Mathematics for Industry PhD modelling week from 12th-16th September 2016. A call for applications is open and full instructions can be found below. This initiative is supported by COST Action TD1409, Mathematics for Industry Network (MI-NET).
Purpose. A key purpose of CMALS and SofTMech is to provide a vibrant community for PhD students to interact, learn and achieve their full potential, whether they pursue a career in research or in Industry. This modelling week is the perfect platform to combine training, collaboration and communication with European students of varied backgrounds, and to facilitate the enhancement of problem solving skills within a student-dominated environment. Industrialists and clinicians will help the students develop awareness of the real-world applications of their work.
Format. The week will start on Monday morning with introductory talks from industrialists and clinicians on the problems at hand, followed by short lectures from the academic instructors on the application of mathematics in these areas. The rest of the week will be devoted to working in small groups on the problems, supported by industrial/clinical/academic instructors. During the week, we will have guest lectures from Dr Martin Meere (NUI Galway, Ireland) and Dr Giuseppe Pontrelli of the National Research Council (Italian CNR) as well as a conference dinner. The week will close with lunch on the Friday afternoon.
CMALS and SofTMech. CMALS is a collaboration predominantly between the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde which promotes interdisciplinary research and scholarship in Mathematics applied to the Life Sciences. The Centre has a wide membership list extending beyond the Scottish universities to researchers across the UK, Europe and the US. Research across the Centre varies considerably and includes heart modelling, soft tissue mechanics, drug delivery, epidemiology, disease and treatment, marine science and ecology. SofTMech is the newly formed EPSRC Centre of Maths for Healthcare led by the University Glasgow.
Problems. A brief description of the three problem areas to be considered is provided below. Successful applicants will receive further specific details ahead of attending the workshop.
HEART. Heart diseases are the major cause of mortality in the world. Soft tissue mechanics plays an essential role in all current models of the heart. One of the key issues is that the material parameters required for modelling cannot be directly obtained and these have to be inferred from medical images. This “inverse approach” uses combined mechanistic models and statistical parameter inference. We will gain insights into this problem by developing some of the approaches for relevant and adequately simplified problems.
DRUG DISCOVERY. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is currently engaged in substantial drug discovery research programmes. As well as experimental approaches, GSK adopt mathematical modelling and simulation to try to better understand what they are observing in experiments and to make predictions of the effect of changes. Key to any progress in this area is an adequate description of the interaction between proteins and molecules. In this problem we will use mathematics to model binding and diffusion processes in a number of relevant scenarios.
MEDICAL DEVICES. Orthopaedic implants are devices which replace a missing joint/bone or support a damaged bone. Despite great improvements over the years, there remain a number of challenges including the development of infection, inflammation and pain. It has been suggested that the local delivery of drug from the implant may be an ideal way of tackling some of these issues. In this problem, we will develop models of some drug-releasing orthopaedic implants. This will allow us to identify the parameters controlling the release and to make suggestions about how the devices should be designed to control the release.
Application process. The workshop aims to attract both local PhD students associated with CMALS/SofTMech and external students from across Europe. Registration is free, and students from out-with Glasgow will be entitled to a contribution to the costs associated with attending the week as detailed below:
Accommodation: Approx. £150 (£30 per night for 5 nights)
Evening meals: Approx. EURO 80 (EUR0 20 per night for 4 nights)
The conference dinner and Lunches and refreshments throughout the week are also fully paid for.
Note that students from out-with Glasgow will be expected to cover the costs of their travel to Glasgow from their existing PhD funding/department/university. Any student from an inclusive target country who is unable to cover the costs of travel, should contact the organisers.
To apply, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org by FRIDAY 10th June a single page of A4 which includes:
- Your University level qualifications
- A brief description of your PhD project with details of your supervisor, Institution and your year of study. List any prizes or awards you have received and detail any poster/oral presentations you have delivered
- Your motivation for wanting to attend the modelling week along with an indication as to whether you intend to pursue a career in academia or in industry
- The workshop projects listed in your order of preference
- Confirmation that you have secured travel funding (if coming from out-with Glasgow) and the source of this funding.
Any application which exceeds the 1-page limit will be rejected.
Note that students are applying to be admitted to the modelling week, rather than applying to work on a particular project. The applications will be reviewed by the committee and those successful students will be notified by the end of June. The committee will consider (amongst other criteria): the excellence of the student, the area of mathematics they are working in and the benefit to the student of attending the modelling week.