Development and use of fit-for-purpose computer simulation as a laboratory tool

Fiona Polcak

We are pleased to invite Prof Fiona Polack to talk to BCS Mid-Wales on December 4th. This will be at Aberystwyth University in the early evening. Time and location are being arranged and will be announced in due course.


Laboratory research in biological sciences has traditionally been limited to what can be observed or deduced from observed behaviour. Computer simulation, and particularly agent-based simulation, can mimic the known or hypothesised behaviour of biological systems, and can be used to support and develop theories about the behaviour that causes observed features and behaviours. For a decade, a team at the York Computational Immunology Lab (YCIL) has been developing simulations with laboratory researchers, and developing the reputation of computational models in immune-systems research. The work builds on the CoSMoS project, an EPSRC-funded multi-site project exploring fit-for-purpose modelling and simulation. This talk explores some of the challenges and the achievements of the YCIL team, with reference to simulations or simulation designs for projects including peyer’s patch development, EAE, prostate cancer and BPH.


Fiona Polack has recently been appointed as Chair of Software Engineering at Keele University. Previously, at University of York, she has worked in formal and diagrammatic aspects of software modelling and specification. More recently, also at York, she has supervised significant research in model driven engineering. She has developed argumentation as a software engineering technique for capturing the rationale for engineering decisions. Fiona is an interdisciplinary researcher, working with biologists, electrical engineers, social scientists, physicists and many others.