Dr. Chris Hornsby
In his thesis, Chris employed stochastic techniques in an attempt to understand cancer risk, its relationship to patient age and genotype, as well as its distribution in human populations. The starting point for his work was the general observation that cancer incidence grows in approximate proportion to an integer power of age. Quasi-mechanistic mathematical models of cancer incidence have suggested that the integer power in a given case is related to the number of crucial cellular events that must occur for a malignant tumour to evolve from a healthy tissue. Chris explored this idea and its limitations. He then evaluated and developed further applications of cancer incidence models. Specifically, he presented a critical examination of the notion that increases in risk associated with a particular predisposing germline gene mutation, can provide information about the disease-associated activity of that gene. Finally, Chris discussed heterogeneity in liability to cancer. He investigated methods for quantifying this heterogeneity and its effect on incidence patterns.
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