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Fall 2018 Seminar Series - 101518 Lesi

Chemical Engineering

Fall 2018 Seminar Series - 101518 Lesi






Graduate Student Symposium

Adeyinka Lesi 

City College of New York 


Monday, October 15, 2018

Seminar will be held in ST-160 (Lecture Hall) at 2:00 PM

Reception: 3:00 – 4:00 PM in Steinman Hall, Exhibit Room – 1st Floor


Advantages of Modeling Tumor Growth with a Population Balance Model 


The genetic and environmental heterogeneity associated with tumors makes cancer treatment and recovery a difficult and unpredictable process. Patients with initially similar disease can experience vastly different outcomes including sustained recovery, refractory disease or, remarkably, recurrence after several disease-free years. We propose a size-structured population balance model to describe how the sizes of an ensemble of tumors evolve over time due to the dynamic interplay between processes of tumor growth, reduction and metastasis. We validated the model using gender-segregated data from immune-competent and immune-suppressed translucent zebrafish (Casper variant), which were inoculated with a transgenic melanoma cell line expressing human BRAF V600E and GFP and observed for tumor progression and metastasis. The model describes these experimental data and an additional human hepatocellular carcinoma data set very well with optimized parameters. The only zebrafish parameter to show strong gender-dependence was the tumor reduction parameter, which may be relevant for gender differences in human melanoma outcomes.  The model provides a potential mechanism to explain apparent cancer dormancy and recurrence and, by leveraging the optimal parameters, makes clinically relevant predictions such as probability of recurrence and average time to recurrence for a given population. The current zebrafish melanoma parameters are not in the range likely to produce metastasis but we will tune experimental conditions to make recurrence more likely in future experiments.


Adeyinka (Yinka) Lesi is a Nigeria-born native of Madison, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelors in Chemical Engineering, after which he worked for Virent Inc, a small biochemicals company in Madison. He is now a 5thyear Ph.D. student studying mathematical oncology with Professor Rumschitzki.