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Thais Roque

Current Position: DPhil Student

Interests and current research

Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, with millions of new cases and cancer related deaths every year. Yet no two cancer cases are alike. To maximise their survival chances, patients should receive a treatment plan designed specifically for their case.

My research project aims to use mathematical tumour growth models to fill this gap: based on medical imaging information available for a single patient and drawing on various disciplines such as tumour biology, mathematical biology and physics, these models have emerged as a powerful tool to help inform and support doctors on how individual tumours might respond to different therapy schemes.

For that end, I am developing, calibrating and validating a tumour growth model built a priori from data derived from pre-clinical DCE-MRI imaging.

Once validated, such a model could be used in a clinical setting to better therapy outcome, improve patient well-being, and reduce (public or private) financial burden associated with failed and sometimes even unnecessary therapy schemes.


2014-present University of Oxford, UK, D.Phil. Candidate in Biomedical Engineering (expected Oct. 2017)

Thesis: Using Metabolic Imaging to Predict Tumour Growth and Response to Therapy

2013-2014 University of Oxford, UK, M.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering

Thesis: Quantifying Haemodynamics in Brain Tumours for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications

2009 - 2013 Westphalian University Gelsenkirchen, Bocholt) Recklinghausen (Formerly: University of Applied Sciences Gelsenkirchen), Germany

Bachelor degree in Medical Engineering (Grade: 1.6 within 1.0-6.0 scale, where 1.0 is highest)

Thesis: Integration of quantitative MRI patient data into a computational model of tumor growth

2006 - 2009 Volksbank Lübbecker Land, Lübbecke, Germany Trainee Program (apprenticeship) as Banking Businesswoman (Grade: 1.0)


Work Experience

Oct. 2015 - present: Founder and president of the Oxford Students Refugee Campaign, which aims at coordinating the efforts of student, academic and administrative members of the Oxford universities to work with refugee assistance organisations to develop organised, proportionate, clear and comprehensive financial and welfare support for displaced students whose studies have been disrupted because of war and persecution.

Oct. 2015 - present: Biomedical Modelling and Monitoring Tutor, Department of Engineering Sciences, University of Oxford, UK

Apr. 2013- Jul. 2013 King's College London, UK Internship and research project, led by Prof. Gary Cook, in the Department of Cancer Imaging at St. Thomas' Hospital, which deals with tumour texture analysis

Aug. 2012-Febr.2013 University of São Paulo and Magnetic Resonance Department (InRad) of Hospital das Clínicas, São Paulo, Brazil Internship and research project at the Faculty of Medicine

Mar. 2012-Jul. 2012 University of Applied Sciences Gelsenkirchen, Germany; 

Process and Control Technology Tutor for the Faculty of Physical Engineering

Aug. 2010-Aug.2013 University of Applied Sciences Gelsenkirchen, Germany Student research assistant in the group led by Pr. Dr. Waldemar Zylka, which deals with computer simulation of tumour growth

Mar. 2010-Jul. 2011 University of Applied Sciences Gelsenkirchen, Germany Math Tutor for the Faculty of Physical Engineering

Jul. 2009-Oct. 2009 Miele AG, Bielefeld, Germany Internship

Jan. 2009–Jun. 2009 Volksbank Lübbecker Land, Lübbecke, Germany Banking Businesswoman


Awards and Scholarships

Sep.2014 Scholarship from Oxford-Bellhouse Graduate Scholarship programme to support my D.Phil. studies at Magdalen College, Oxford

Nov. 2013 Erich-Mueller prize for the best thesis at the University of Applied Sciences, Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Nov. 2013 Prize for best thesis within the Faculty of Physical Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Sep. 2013-Aug. 2014 Scholarship from the Sloane Robinson Foundation to support my M.Sc. studies in Biomedical Engineering at Oxford

Aug. 2012-Feb. 2013 Scholarship from the Klee Family Foundation to finance my Internship and research project in Brazil

Aug. 2011-Dec. 2011 Scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to finance my studies in Brazil

Mar. 2011-present Scholarship as a student from the German National Scholarship Foundation

2009 Physics-Award from the German Physics Community after A-Levels


Publications (Conference Abstracts and Proceedings)

Tumor Growth Estimation via Registration of DCE-MRI Derived Tumor Specific Descriptors Roque T., Papiez B., Kersemans V., Smart S., Allen D., Chappell M., Schnabel J. The IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR) Workshops, June 2016:

A modified deconvolution method to quantify brain tumour haemodynamic parameters in the presence of contrast agent extravasation Roque, T., Mehndiratta, A., Kenning L., Lorry, M., Chappell, M.A. 23rd Proceeding of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) May 2015

Integration of patient specific MRI imaging data into a stochastic low- grade glioma model Roque T., Garcia Otaduy M. C., Zylka W. Biomed Tech 2013, (DOI: 10.1515/bmt-2013-4345) Aug. 2013

Biological effectiveness in hypofractionation: Modeling tumor survival probability for large doses with a stochastic cell-cycle model Roque t., Kalkan Z., Zylka W. Sep. 2012

Biomed Tech 2012, (DOI:10.1515/bmt-2012-4111)

Modeling Tumor Growth and Treatment using Imaging Data Rudigkeit N., Gouvea B., Roque T., Zylka W.; Biomed Tech 2011, (DOI 10.1515/BMT.2011.422) Nov. 2011


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