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AMSI scholarship recipient profile: Mohsen Dorraki

Mohsen Dorraki

The University of Adelaide

Mohsen Dorraki received the B.Eng. degree in electronics engineering from the Azad University of Birjand, Iran, in 2007, and the M.Eng. degree in electrical engineering from the Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2011. He is currently pursuing the Ph.D. degree with the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Australia, under the supervision of Prof. Derek Abbott.

His current research involves computational biology, mathematical modelling, deep learning, signal processing, and biomedical engineering. He was granted the ECMS Divisional Scholarship from The University of Adelaide to study toward his Ph.D. degree in 2017. He received a number of awards, including the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) Travel Grant, in 2018, and DR Stranks Travelling Fellowship, in 2019. He has been granted a Distinguished Talent visa (permanent residency visa) and identified as a Global Talent in medical technologies from the Department of Home Affairs, Australian Government.

Can you give me a quick overview of the type of mathematics you are studying and its potential applications or outcomes

I am working on the development of mathematical model of cancer, and the research includes a number of different sub-projects. By translating biological complexity and translating biological components of cancer development into mathematical terms, the modelling process describes cancer-related phenomena as a complex set of interactions with the emerging outcome predicted by mathematical investigation that defines the field of mathematical oncology. In fact, this field is characterized by two key features: i) that mathematical model can be applied to develop biomedical understanding of cancer, and ii) that biology proposes new mathematical challenges, which generate enhanced mathematical tools.

What advice would you give to your younger self or others wanting to studying the mathematical sciences?

I love mathematics and I love biology. My advice for younger scientists is don’t get disheartened in your early years. Most mathematicians have a slow start.

What was your motivation for attending AMSI BioInfoSummer?

The educational aspect of the event has exposed me to new ways of conducting my project and help me discover new idea for future works.

You received an AMSI BioInfoSummer registration scholarship to attend AMSI BioInfoSummer. How important was this in terms of your ability to attend and fully participate in the sessions throughout the week?

There is an incredible amount of sharing, learning and leveraging that can happen in events such as BioInfoSummer. The grant providing me the opportunity to know and meet new people who work in the same area.

What was your main take away from AMSI BioInfoSummer?

I learned a lot about long-data analysis which is really important in my area.

If a peer asked you if they should attend AMSI BioInfoSummer, how would you describe the conference to them?

The talks and workshops cover a vast area of biological studies that use computer programming as part of their methodology.

The event may potentially help you to learn about future career options in many areas of biology, image and signal processing, and extraction of useful results from large amounts of raw data.

Where do you want the mathematical sciences to take you? Where do you see yourself in five or ten years’ time?

My PhD project is tied to mathematical science. Therefore, in next few years, I am going to find an answer to the following question: can research activities in the immunology field probably take advantages of a certain interaction with modelling and mathematics? In my opinion, even though mathematics cannot directly solve problems in immunology, research in this field may hopefully take advantage of a certain interaction with mathematics.

2020 has been a very unusual and challenging year. What is one thing you have learnt about yourself this year? Or a new skill you have developed?

I learned a lot about online learning, self-education and working from home.