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Physiological Understanding through Modelling (PUMMA)

Welcome to the PUMMA group webpage. We are part of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME) next to the Churchill Hospital and are headed by Dr Stephen Payne, who is an Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering in the Department of Engineering Science and a Fellow and Tutor at Keble College.

Our research interests lie in a number of clinical problems where we use Engineering tools (modelling and signal/image analysis) to provide doctors with useful information and hence to help them to make better decisions about treatment. There are six areas in which we work:

  1. Stroke: This is a very common brain disease and one which has to be treated immediately. We aim to use imaging data combined with models to determine as much information about the brain as possible and hence to help the clinicians to decide whether or not to treat patients.
  2. Neurodegenerative disease: Many other brain diseases occur much more slowly, such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia: trying to predict disease progression using imaging data means that we can help doctors to plan the best treatment.
  3. Foetal health: We are working to help doctors to decide whether or not to intervene in labour, i.e. whether or not to induce the delivery of a baby, based on the predicted risk of damage to the baby during labour.
  4. Cancer: Using modelling of treatments to kill liver tumours, we help doctors plan which is the best treatment and how best to perform it, in order to improve survival rates.
  5. Respiration: By interpreting clinical data, we are trying to learn about diseased lungs without the need for invasive measurements and hence provide doctors with information about patients with respiratory diseases.
  6. Cerebral autoregulation: Blood flow through the brain is very tightly controlled, changing by only a very small amount when blood pressure changes. How it does this is very complicated, but it is very important in understanding how the brain responds to brain diseases like stroke.

In all of these applications, we work very closely with clinical colleagues to make sure that the research is focussed on application to clinical practice. If you are interested in our work or want copies of our publications, please contact the group head, Dr Stephen Payne.

Group lunch 2013

[PUMMA Group lunch, October 2013]