Special Seminar: Uncovering the Behavior of Particles in the Lung by Coupling Numerical Predictions

Jessica Oakes, Presidential Postdoctoral Scholar, UC Berkeley

Monday, February 22, 2016, 3:30–4:30pm

Spanos Auditorium, Cummings Hall

Pulmonary diseases cause a substantial medical and financial burden worldwide and are typically caused by inhalation of air pollution or cigarette smoke over a long period of time. Aerosolized medicine is an effective way to treat these diseases, however, target lung delivery remains a challenge, especially in the presence of disease. Physiologically based computer simulations provide novel insight of lung mechanics, however simulations need validating before they can be translated into clinical settings. In this seminar, I will introduce a novel MRI method to quantify particle deposition in healthy and diseased rat lungs. Next, complementary multi-scale numerical simulations of airflow and particle transport will be discussed. I will then focus on the advantages of coupling simulations with experimental data to provide detailed insight beyond the resolution of the data. At the end of the talk, I will discuss the challenge of validating computer models and my perspective on what is required to bring these types of models into medical practices.

About the Speaker

Jessica Oakes is a University of California Presidential Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Berkeley. She received her mechanical engineering PhD degree from UC San Diego in 2013. After completing her degree, Jessica performed a one-year postdoctoral appointment at INRIA in Paris, France. Jessica's work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, International Institute of Education (Whitaker Scholarship), and an INRIA Postdoctoral Grant. Recently, Jessica was awarded an American Lung Association Grant to investigate the health effects of electronic cigarettes. In the long term, Jessica is interested in merging engineering and medicine to diagnose and optimize treatment of lung disease. Jessica grew up in Western New York and enjoys hiking, reading, art and traveling.

For more information, contact Jessica Widdicombe at jessica.c.widdicombe@dartmouth.edu.