Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics
Notre Dame excels in promoting the multidisciplinary collaborations essential to solving complex problems, both at an institutional level and in the attitudes of its faculty. During my time here, I have witnessed many instances when faculty were willing to join interdepartmental teams and contribute to a project in whatever way they could in the spirit of service for a greater good.
I chair the Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, where our mission is grounded in these types of partnerships that allow us to take our disciplinary expertise in mathematical modeling and analysis and bring it to bear on real-world problems.
For example, breakthroughs in biotechnology have enabled scientists to measure the effects of 10s of thousands of genes on cancer progression, and much of my recent research has focused on discoveries concerning gene expression in breast cancer specifically. Using these findings, I developed an algorithm for determining the likelihood women with certain forms of the disease will experience a relapse based on a measurement of four genes in the initial biopsied tumor.
By assessing the risk of recurrence, the test can help tailor individual treatments, identifying when a patient can safely forego chemotherapy.