STEM profile: Sarah Brown, Mathematical Medicine and Biology Ph.D. student | University of Nottingham

We Rep STEM aims to promote the work of inspiring people in the STEM community. Today, we’re featuring Sarah K. Brown.

Read on to learn more about Sarah and what her work entails, in her own words.


My name is Sarah Brown and I am a third-year Ph.D. student in Mathematical Medicine and Biology at the University of Nottingham, U.K. My research combines in vitro (cell culture) experiments with mathematical/computational models to simulate changes in the structure and biomechanics of asthmatic airway wall components over time.

The goal of this work is to develop models that allow us to identify possible mechanisms of asthma and ultimately provide predictive capabilities that could be used to develop new therapies. 

People often ask me how maths can be used to learn about asthma! This has inspired me to create my own science communication resources so that everyone can understand the wide range of applications that maths has (links below).

I am an advocate for STEM and, in particular, increasing the number of girls that choose maths career routes/higher education.

5 Random, Weird and Wonderful uses of Maths

1. Maths can help us understand why penguin eggs don’t hatch unless they have been rotated!

2. Maths explains why in a room of just 23 people there is a 50% chance that 2 people have the same birthday!

3. Maths can tell us why the large pieces of nuts/fruit are always at the top of the cereal packet and not mixed in!

4. Maths tells us how a zebra gets its stripes and a leopard gets its spots! 

5. Maths is used in all social media, whether that be in deciding which posts you see on your Facebook timeline, or giving you a dog face that sticks its tongue out when you do on Snapchat! 

Connect with Sarah on Facebook, Instagram (as What the Point of Maths?) and on Twitter as @sarahkbrown2.


If you’d like to have your work featured on We Rep STEM, get in touch! We can be reached via email at werepstem@gmail.com.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Brown.


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