About Dr Shipley
Dr Rebecca Shipley’s research career started within the Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, University of Oxford, where she received a First Class Honours Masters degree (Mathematics), before completing her DPhil (PhD) working on multiscale mathematical models of blood flow and drug delivery in vascularised tissues. During this time, she developed a passion for interdisciplinary research around the application of mathematical models in medicine. In 2008 she took up a Junior Research Fellowship at Christ Church College, University of Oxford, to develop mathematical models that describe biomechanical and biochemical stimulation of tissues. Dr Shipley also gained practical experimental experience through two concurrent Visiting Research Fellowships at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Bath, and Tissue Repair and Engineering Centre, UCL. Her research on integrating mathematical models with experimental data inform the design of bioreactors for tissue engineering led to the award of Young Researcher of the Year for the UK Tissue and Cell Engineering Society in July 2011.
In May 2012, Dr Shipley took up her Lectureship (now Reader) position within the Biomechanical Engineering Group at UCL Mechanical Engineering, where she now leads an interdisciplinary research group on the development and application of mathematical models in medicine. In May 2017, she established the UCL Centre for Nerve Engineering with Dr James Phillips (UCL School of Pharmacy).
In 2018, Dr Shipley took on the roles of Vice Dean for Health within the UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences and also Director of the UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering. In these roles, she coordinates interdisciplinary research activities within healthcare engineering across Engineering, SLMS and the UCL Partner Hospitals at UCL.
Rebecca’s research is divided into two themes. First of all, she works on tumour blood flow and therapy predictions by integrating sophisticated computational models with in vivo and ex vivo imaging data to better understand and interrogate cancer therapies. This involves a close collaboration with Dr Simon Walker-Samuel from the UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Engineering; together, they have brought together a team of mathematicians, medical imagers and cancer biologists in this area. In 2016, Rebecca and Simon were awarded the Rosetrees Trust Interdisciplinary Prize 2016 for research at the interface of maths/ computer science and medicine, for their project on Barriers to Successful CAR T-Cell Therapy in Pancreatic Cancer.
Secondly, Rebecca conducts both mathematical modelling and experimental studies to characterise the link between cellular environment and tissue function in tissue-engineering. Through collaboration with Dr James Phillips (UCL School of Pharmacy), we are combining in silico modelling, in vitro and in vivo experiments to design and test engineered constructs for peripheral nerve repair. In 2017, Rebecca was awarded an EPSRC Healthcare Technology Challenge Award on Mathematical Modelling Led Design of Tissue-Engineered Constructs: A New Paradigm for Peripheral Nerve Repair (NerveDesign).