Dr Roman Bauer

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Job title: Research Fellow
Division: School of Computing
Organisation: Newcastle University
Tags: Early Career Forum, Fellowship: Innovation Fellowship, Newcastle University, Researcher


Dr Bauer graduated from ETH Zurich (Switzerland) in 2008, where he afterwards obtained a PhD in Computational Neuroscience in 2013. After a postdoctoral research position and an MRC Skills Development Fellowship at Newcastle University (NU), he then started his EPSRC UK Research and Innovation Fellowship in 2018 (also at NU). 

My Fellowship

In my fellowship, I implement and employ computational tools to model how biological tissue behaves during cryopreservation. In particular, I use a multi-scale and agent-based approach, where cells and cell compartments are individually modelled in a 3D physical environment. Along those lines, the BioDynaMo software framework that we develop in collaboration with CERN, is central to my research.

The aim is to adequately capture the dynamics of the cells and overall tissue during the cooling and thawing process, so that cryogenic processing protocols can be optimised in a tissue-specific way. To this end, various experimental data (e.g. obtained from gene expression analysis and electron microscopy images) will be used to inform the computational model.

By using such a computational approach, my research will help improve current cryopreservation methodologies, so that high-quality post-thaw tissue can be obtained. This is important because such enhanced cryopreservation capability will ultimately advance organ preservation capability, pharmaceutical research (e.g. by expanding drug- and toxicity-testing endeavours) and tissue engineering.

I have been interested in cryopreservation for a long time, particularly because it is still predominantly an empirical discipline where computational methodologies have played only a minor role. Moreover, I am very interested in clinically relevant topics, and improved cryopreservation will help save many lives (e.g. by facilitating pharmaceutical research and the supply of organs).

The EPSRC UK Research and Innovation Fellowship scheme aligns very well with this medical and industrial relevance, and my Fellowship topic is an ideal opportunity to use modern computing tools. Hence, it was clear to me that I would be applying. 

I am convinced that the Fellowship will be a major boost for my career. In particular, it allows me to learn the skills necessary to supervise a multi-disciplinary team, and to conduct work that requires an excellent infrastructure and modern experimental equipment.

Moreover, my career aspiration is to become an independent researcher at the interface between academia and industry, and this Fellowship involves tight collaboration with industrial players. Hence, I am in the fortunate situation to benefit from ideal conditions to reach my career goals.