Position: PhD student, Field: Bioengineering, Organisation: Auckland Bioengineering Institute.
Hayley Reynolds is a PhD student with the Maurice Wilkins Centre and is based at the Bioengineering Institute of the University of Auckland. Her research has already received significant recognition. In June 2006, Hayley was awarded an esteemed MacDiarmid Young Scientist of the Year Award for excellence in biotechnology. In October 2006, she received the AIMES Award for excellence in information technology. Hayley has already had her work published in prestigious international journals, including the leading medical journal The Lancet Oncology.
We have one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world, so I knew that if I came up with something that was useful in the field of melanoma, it could be locally useful here in our country.
Hayley’s research is focused on creating an interactive 3D computer model of skin and lymph nodes, to predict and visualise how melanoma spreads in the body after it has metastasised (spread) from the skin. She has used data from over 5,000 melanoma patients of the Sydney Melanoma Unit to create this computer model.
The human body has 43 lymph node fields to which melanoma can spread – quickly and often in unexpected ways. In diagnosing and treating melanoma, it is important for doctors to know where a melanoma is likely to have spread from any area of skin on the body. Hayley has developed a predictive software tool for this purpose, and a version of this tool has already been made available to doctors worldwide.
Hayley wants to use her skills in maths and science to do something to contribute to society, to achieve something that is clinically useful for doctors.
Her work in the field of melanoma can certainly make a highly valuable contribution.
Hayley completed her doctoral thesis in 2008, after which she worked for the Auckland Bioengineering Institute’s Biomechanics for Breast Imaging group.
In 2011 Hayley took up a position at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Hayley is continuing her interest in the clinical application of bioengineering technology to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. She is currently working towards improving radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer patients.
This article is based on information current in 2008 and updated in 2015.