Lois C. Okereke

Lois Okereke is a laureate of the 2021 L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Sub-Saharan Africa Young Talent program and a recent alumna of the commonwealth scholarship. She completed her PhD in Pure and Applied Mathematics at the African University of Science and Technology (AUST) Abuja Nigeria in 2022 under the supervision of Prof. Charles Chidume and co-supervised by Dr. John Fenwick, with visiting research spells away at Gaston Berger University Senegal, University of Liverpool and University of Oxford, United Kingdom. A former African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) scholar, and one of the few recipients of the prestigious Mwalimu Nyerere African Union Scholarship, Lois leveraged her mathematical analysis and computational skills to focus much of her PhD research on developing rigorous and novel techniques for optimizing dose-distributions delivered by external beam radiotherapy in her thesis titled “Models and algorithms for inverse problems in radiotherapy planning for cancer treatment”.

Since December 2022, Lois Okereke has been a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Computational Oncology, Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, where she continues to pursue her interest in developing rigorous mathematical and computational models and algorithms for analysing imaging, genomic and clinical data in the study and characterization of cancer development, progression, and its therapeutic optimization. In her current role, she is working on identifying optimal therapeutic regimens for cancer by exploiting nullclines in the systems of differential equations describing tumor growth and treatment response for cancers of the brain and breast. Furthermore, she will be evaluating the ability of mechanism-based mathematical models to describe and predict the dynamics of tumor "habitats" in human glioma to identify optimal radiation therapy plans on a patient-specific basis. Also, she will be extending our existing models of breast cancer to include the effects of immunotherapy with our collaborators at UT Southwestern and the University of Alabama-Birmingham.