Vasek and Anna Maria Polak Professor, Dr. Kristin Swanson
Cancer Research, Mayo Clinic
Friday, October 8, 2021, 12 p.m.
Via Zoom:

IE Decisions Systems Engineering Fall ’21 Seminar Series
Hosted by: Ashif Iquebal
For recording, contact [email protected].

Glioblastoma are notoriously aggressive, malignant primary brain tumors that have variable response to
treatment. This presentation will focus on the integrative role of 1) biological sex-differences, 2) heterogeneity in drugdelivery and 3) intra-tumoral molecular diversity (revealed by radiomics) in capturing and predicting this variable
response to treatment. Specifically, I will highlight burgeoning insights into sex differences in tumor incidence,
outcomes, propensity and response to therapy. I will further, quantify the degree to which heterogeneity in drug
delivery, even for drugs that are able to bypass the blood-brain barrier, contributes to differences in treatment
response. Lastly, I will propose an integrative role for spatially resolved MRI-based radiomics models to reveal the
intra-tumoral biological heterogeneity that can be used to guide treatment targeting and management.

Dr. Swanson is currently the Vasek and Anna Maria Polak Professor in Cancer Research
and also holds appointments as Professor of Radiation Oncology and Cancer biology at
Mayo Clinic, where she directs the Mathematical NeuroOncology Lab and co-directs the
Precision NeuroTherapeutics Innovation Program at Mayo Clinic. She also holds an
appointment as Professor of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at Arizona State
University. Dr. Swanson received her BS in mathematics with a minor in physics in 1996
from Tulane University. She then earned her MS in 1998 and PhD in 1999 in mathematical
biology from the University of Washington. Dr. Swanson went on to a postdoctoral
fellowship in mathematical and computational medicine at the University of California, San
Francisco. She joined the faculty at the University of Washington in 2000, with
appointments in both neuropathology and applied mathematics. In 2015, she joined Mayo
Clinic in Arizona as Professor and Vice Chair of the department of neurological surgery.
Dr. Swanson is an internationally recognized mathematical oncologist focused on
delivering optimal treatment to patients with brain cancer. Her research lab is driven by
the motto that “every patient deserves their own equation.” As a mathematical oncologist,
Dr. Swanson’s research interests are in clinical trial design and predictive mathematical
modeling for the treatment of patients with brain cancer. Her laboratory group works to
generate patient-specific predictive models to effectively and accurately predict tumor
growth and response to therapy in individual patients. The group works with clinical and
research teams at Mayo Clinic to bring these innovations to the clinic while identifying new
predictive models. This work can also be used to inform novel therapy design, resulting in
better treatment and outcomes for patients.Dr. Swanson is recipient of the 2017 Mayo
Clinic Service Award for Diversity and Inclusion, the 2008 University of Washington Award
for Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year. Her research efforts have been
supported through funding by the NIH, the Ivy Foundation, the James S McDonnell
Foundation, the James D. Murray Endowed Chair at the University of Washington, and the
Mayo Clinic.