Saez-Rodriguez Group

Systems Biomedicine

Charlotte Boys

I have spent much of my studies looking for the ways in which mathematics can be used to give us a new understanding of how the human body works, and of what separates health from disease. For my final year BSc project under the supervision of Professor Andrew Hazel, I reviewed PDE models of blood flow in the human placenta as a first step towards understanding fetal growth restriction.

The Scientific Computing MSc at the University of Heidelberg offered a perfect environment to build from mathematics on the page towards computational work. In my first year, I joined the group of Professor Heuveline at EMCL to study models of carcinogenesis under the supervision of Saskia Haupt. There, I got a first taste of omics data analysis while researching the evolving neoantigen landscapes in Lynch syndrome colorectal cancer.

Wanting to work more closely with molecular data, I found my current scientific home in the Saez-Rodriguez group. I feel exceptionally lucky to work alongside and learn from biologists, computer scientists, and clinicians in such a supportive lab. Here, I have worked on a variety of projects: from bulk RNA-seq analysis of primary myelofibrosis in mice to single-cell analysis of chronic kidney disease. My PhD will focus on a multi-omics analysis of IgA nephropathy.

Research Interests

I am interested in how mathematical modelling and statistical data analysis can be used to interrogate large datasets, both molecular and clinical. In doing so, I enjoy working closely with clinicians and disease experts, framing relevant questions to increase our understanding of how a disease unfolds. In particular, I am interested in how we can infer coordination and communication between cell populations within a tissue from the snapshot-in-time offered by omics datasets. My PhD research is in the context of IgA nephropathy, a chronic kidney disease.

Professional Career

November 2021-present PhD candidate, Saez-Rodriguez Group, Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Universität Heidelberg, Germany.
July 2020-July 2021 Student research assistant, Saez-Rodriguez Group, Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Universität Heidelberg, Germany.
April 2019-September 2020 Student research assistant, Engineering Mathematics and Computing Lab, Universität Heidelberg, Germany.


October 2018-July 2021 Scientific Computing MSc, Universität Heidelberg, Germany.
September 2014-June 2018 Mathematics with a Modern Language (Spanish) BSc, University of Manchester, UK.
September 2016-June 2017 Erasmus study, Faculty of Mathematics, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.