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Dr. Jennifer Dent

Research Statistician
St. George's, University of London
University of London

Brief Biography:

I am a mathematical biologist whose expertise lie in the analysis of disease networks.

My current post is based at St George's, University of London, where I use mathematical and statistical modelling techniques in order to evaluate the differences in childhood health, according to ethnicity. In addition, I collaborate with scientists in China, providing mathematical and statistical expertise for rheumatoid arthritis research.

From 2005 to 2011, I worked for the British Government as a mathematical modeller, where I used differential equation models, simulations, network analysis and statistics in order to model the dynamics of animal diseases (specifically avian influenza, salmonella and BSE). In April 2009, I received a fellowship from the EU to collaborate with a research institute in China. The fellowship programme (STFP) gave me the opportunity to undertake research in China, applying my mathematical skills to problems in molecular biology at the Max Plank Chinese Academy of Sciences partner institute for computational biology (PICB). During my time at PICB, I researched the molecular mechanisms involved in RA in order to be able to understand and compare the effects of acupuncture with those of conventional medicines, in the treatment of the disease. In this direction, I have worked on the reconstruction and the analysis of networks of genes and proteins known to be involved in RA and focused my Ph.D. thesis on the use of mathematical models (network analysis approaches in particular) to investigate disease contact structures at the cell and the population level. Since my return to Europe, I have been working closely with collaborators in China, Italy and Denmark, setting up a multi-national research network, focused on the integration and analysis of multi-omic data.  My main role in the network is to coordinate the transfer of knowledge between institutes, something that I am passionate about and feel is essential for a bright future in Science.


Academic positions:

2009-2011 Research Fellow (Based at Max Plank-Chinese Academy of Sciences Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai, China).

2011-2012: Senior Medical Statistician - University of Leeds

2012-Present: Research Statistician - University of London



Research interests:

Network Analysis, mathematical (disease) modelling, effect of research networks in healthcare, integration of different omics data


What I think of the idea behind WebmedCentral:

In an era where the need for transferable knowledge is becoming more and more essential, I think WebmedCentral is a timely and relevant project to allow and encourage the flow of information between scientists.