On Monday evening, April 9, Dr. Helen Moore was the guest speaker for the St. Mark's Mathematicians at Work series. Her topic: "How to Use Mathematics to Predict Whether a Cancer Patient is Responding to Immunotherapy"
Dr. Moore graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her PhD in mathematics in 1995 from Stony Brook University. Her original work in differential geometry focused on shapes that minimize volume under certain constraints. Over a period of 11 years in academia, she won two teaching awards and received a National Science Foundation grant for her research. While a professor at Stanford University, she began collaborating with faculty in the medical school, and shifted her use of optimization techniques to apply them to therapies for cancer, HIV, and hepatitis C. Dr. Moore helped run the American Institute of Mathematics in Palo Alto, CA for four years. Her first industry position was at Genentech, a biotech company. She later worked at Certara, then Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, NJ. Most recently, she joined AstraZeneca in Waltham, MA, where she uses mathematics and statistics to model diseases and drug concentrations to improve drug development and treatments for patients.
The Mathematicians at Work speaker series was established in 2006-07. The goal of the series is to show students how math is used in many different careers. "I love the series as we have had a wide range of speakers so students have seen lots of places they can use math," says Karen Bryant of the SM Math faculty.