Dr Noemi Picco

About mePublicationsResearchLab Members
I work at the interface between mathematics and biology. My main focus is on mathematical modelling to address questions in cancer, sepsis and the developing brain. I use a range of theoretical and computational tools to describe the dynamical interactions occurring at different spatial and temporal scales. I am studying the interactions between a tumour and its environment using individual-based models coupled to partial differential equations. I am using population dynamics to study the development of the cerebral cortex and to map the divergent evolutionary trajectories that give rise to differences between mammalian species. I am also actively working on ways to integrate experimental data into mathematical models in order to quantitatively describe the processes of interest and make testable prediction.
I enjoy working in close contact with experimentalists and I look forward to new collaborations to study problems in development, evolution and disease. Get in touch!
I am currently a Senior Lecturer at the Mathematics Department of Swansea University. I received my DPhil in Mathematics from the University of Oxford, supervised by Prof. Philip Maini (Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology) and Prof. Sandy Anderson (Integrated Mathematical Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center). My thesis was on tumour-stroma interactions and their role in cancer progression and drug resistance. I have an MSc in Engineering Mathematics from Politecnico di Torino, Italy. Prior to this post I was working with Prof. Philip Maini and Prof. Zoltán Molnár as a postdoctoral research assistant in St John’s College, University of Oxford.

    • Rodrigues, P., Picco, N., Morgan, B., & Ghazal, P. Sepsis target validation for repurposing and combining complement and immune checkpoint inhibition therapeutics. Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery (2021), doi: 10.1080/17460441.2021.1851186
    • Picco, Noemi; Hippenmeyer, Simon; Rodarte, Julio; Streicher, Carmen; Molnár, Zoltán; Maini, Philip K; Woolley, Thomas E. A Mathematical Insight Into Cell Labelling Experiments for Clonal Analysis. Journal of Anatomy (2019) doi: 10.1111/joa.13001
    • Picco, Noemi; Woolley, Thomas E. Time to change your mind? Modelling transient properties of cortex formation highlights the importance of evolving cell division strategies. Journal of Theoretical Biology (2018) doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2018.08.019
    • Picco, Noemi; García-Moreno, Fernando; Maini, Philip K; Woolley, Thomas E; Molnár, Zoltán. Mathematical Modeling of Cortical Neurogenesis Reveals that the Founder Population does not Necessarily Scale with Neurogenic Output. Cerebral Cortex (2018) doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy068
    • Picco, Noemi; Sahai, Erik; Maini, Philip K; Anderson, Alexander RA. Integrating Models to Quantify Environment-Mediated Drug Resistance. Cancer research (2017) doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-0835
    • Picco, Noemi; Gatenby, Robert A; Anderson, Alexander RA; Stem Cell Plasticity and Niche Dynamics in Cancer Progression. IEEE Transactions on Bio-medical Engineering (2017) doi: 10.1109/TBME.2016.2607183

Neurogenesis Simulator (Download Here)




Lineage Tracking

Individual Cell-Based Models

Environmental Niches

Tabitha Lewis

Tabitha is currently a first-year Mathematics PhD student at Swansea University, where she started her course in October 2021. This PhD is part of the AIMLAC CDT based at Swansea University. Her project is titled ‘ML-Guided Dynamical Systems Modelling of Sepsis’ and is under the primary supervision of Dr Noemi Picco. Sepsis is highly complex and unpredictable, where patients with mild symptoms can very quickly degenerate into those requiring resuscitation. By exploring sepsis in mice, Tabitha aims to identify possible biomarkers and turning points through machine learning and mathematical techniques.
Tabitha graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from Swansea University in July 2019. She then went on to graduate in October 2020 with an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Birmingham.



Amy Milne

Amy is currently in her second year of her PhD at Swansea University under the supervision of Dr Noemi Picco. Her area of research is modelling the spatial ecology of cancer. She will consider the spatial and evolutionary aspects of the tumour and its microenvironment that affect the efficiency of intermittent treatments through the development and maintenance of resistance due to environment-mediated drug resistance. Amy graduated with a BSc with Honours and a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education from Murdoch University in 2004. After a successful career in mathematics education, Amy completed a MSc in Mathematics from Queen Mary University of London in 2020.




Peter Carter

Peter is a first year PhD student, supervised by Dr Noemi Picco. His project brings together expertise from Neuroscience and Partial Differential Equations and Individual-based stochastic models to study cortical neurogenesis in the context of development and evolution.
Peter has completed his MMath at Durham University in 2022.





James Chalk

James is a 3rd Year BSc Student at Swansea University currently writing his dissertation project. His project is titled “Connecting stochastic simulations and deterministic models of chemical reactions” and is studying under the supervision of Dr Noemi Picco. James’ project will help to introduce him to a more advanced idea of mathematical medicine through the stochastic modelling of chemical reactions, introducing stochastic simulation algorithms and mathematical methods for analysis of stochastic models.






Matthew Stanton










Gianluca Catania

Gianluca was a Summer Intern in 2022.  His project on “Predator-prey like models of tumour-stoma interactions” analysed the role of the tumour microenvironment using deterministic modelling in the form of dynamical systems description of the interaction at the cell population level.
Gianluca is currently in his 3rd Year BSc Mathematics at Swansea University.




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