Welcome to the Hall Lab
Computational modelling of cancer and precancer
Executable modelling uses highly abstract descriptions of biological systems to understand how cells respond to mutations and stimuli from the environment. Through the use of powerful tools derived from the field of formal verification in computer science, models can be tested for robustness and rare events.
Cells in healthy tissues exist in a state of constant competition with one another. Aging causes the accumulation of mutations in cells, potentially increasing their fitness and enabling persistence and spread. Fit mutations are not necessarily cancer promoting, and may impede or even remove developing cancers.
Mutations in a cell act by changing protein activity. This can be achieved through the loss or amplification of a gene, or modification of protein function through amino acid substitution. Understanding the nature of these mutations is complex however. We use molecular modelling to aid interpretation of diverse cancer and aging associated mutations.