I am Liam Brown. I am a DPhil (PhD) student in the Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology, Oxford. My research interests lie predominantly in cancer immunotherapy, but I dabble on the sides of the subject.
I am jointly supervised by Eamonn Gaffney, Mark Coles and Jonathan Wagg (Hoffmann-La Roche). My funding comes from the Systems Approaches to Biomedical Science CDT, a Clarendon Scholarship and Roche. Below, you may find an introduction to projects that I have contributed to.

In my free time, I like to learn languages, row, play games or sit around with friends.
If you would like to contact me, please don't hesitate to send an email!


Below is a list of my previous research projects, in loosely reverse chronological order. Where possible, I have included a more info link, but in many cases the work is unpublished.

  • T-cell activation

    I have produced a model of T-cell activation in the lymph node to investigate how this activation depends on the number of cells carrying antigen (bits of foreign peptide) to the lymph node and the affinity of the receptors on those cells for the antigen. Publication here.

  • Virtual clinical trials

    I am currently investigating the extent to which historical clinical trial results can be predicted by my T-cell activation model. I hope to produce some interesting results in the near future.

  • Immune cell trafficking

    I am interested in the trafficking of immune cells across the body and how this depends on anatomy and physiology. This work is ongoing, so I cannot say much more for now.

  • Delta-Notch patterning

    I visited Hiroshima University in Summer 2017 to investigate Delta-Notch patterning with Prof. Seirin Lee (and to work on my Japanese). Delta and Notch are important molecules for producing patterns and structure in developing tissue. I am interested in the conditions under which these patterns fail to arise. This work is ongoing - look for a publication soon!

  • Tumour resistance

    At the 2016 IMO Workshop, I produced a model of resistance as part of Team Blue. We created a cellular automaton in Java and an image analysis program to investigate which features of lung cancer CT scans are associated with resistance or clinical outcome, and whether particular resistance mechanisms can be identified. We worked simultaneously from data-down with real CT scans and from hypothesis-up by producing virtual CT scans from the cellular automaton.

    More info

  • Protein interaction network analysis

    (Almost) all of the functions of a cell are carried out by proteins. Thus, if we can understand when proteins are turned on or off, and how they interact with each other, we can understand much more about cell function. I investigated the protein interaction network of yeast for a summer project with Charlotte Deane in the Oxford Protein Informatics Group, building tools to explore the links between the yeast genotype and phenotype.

    More info

  • Atrial fibrillation

    Can atrial fibrillation be explained by simple 'defects' in the structure of the heart? For my MSci project, I took on a cellular automaton built by Kim Christensen and his PhD student and rebuilt it in C++, to investigate a phase transition in defect density that results in fibrillation.

    More info

  • Random branching walk

    Consider a walker in a park who walks in random directions and leaves a trail of ink behind them as they go. Unfortunately, this ink is toxic and will kill them if they step on it. If they are now given a probability p of spawning a child in a random direction instead of walking, what extent of the park will they fill before they and all their children die? I modelled this in C++ with Gunnar Pruessner as an undergraduate in Imperial College London, to investigate the resulting phase transition.

    More info

Curriculum Vitae

The PDF of my CV can be found here (last updated 15/03/2018).


The following is a list of publications in which I am a named author.


  • Liam V. Brown, Eamonn A. Gaffney, Jonathan Wagg, and Mark C. Coles. An In Silico Model of Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Activation in the Lymph Node Following Short Peptide Vaccination. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 15: 20180041. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2018.0041
  • Liam V. Brown, Eamonn A. Gaffney, Jonathan Wagg, and Mark C. Coles. Applications of Mechanistic Modelling to Clinical and Experimental Immunology: An emerging technology to accelerate immunotherapeutic discovery and development. Clinical and Experimental Immunology. In review.
  • Daryoush Saeed-Vafa et al. Combining radiomics and mathematical modeling to elucidate mechanisms of resistance to immune checkpoint blockade in non-small cell lung cancer. bioRxiv 190561. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/190561


  • Quantifying Physiological Limits for Rates of Immune Cell Entry into Different Organs Across Species. Joint Meeting of British Microcirculation Society & UK Cell Adhesion Society, April 2017.
    This poster received a conference prize.
  • Critical Determinants of T-Cell Activation Success. IMO 2016 Workshop, Moffitt Cancer Center. October 2016.
  • Quantifying Probability of T-Cell Activation. Lady Margaret Hall Research Fair, February 2016.
  • Quantifying Probability of T-cell Activation: Sensitivity to Number of Migrating Dendritic Cells & Cognate Antigen Expression Levels. Roche pRED Clinical Symposium, New York. October 2015

I hope to submit three additional manuscripts in the coming months.