Fereshteh completed her PhD in applied mathematics for the life and social sciences at Arizona State University in 2017. Her research was focused on building a computational framework using multiscale deterministic mathematical models of tumor growth fed with laboratory data in order to better understand the role of cancer stem cells (CSC), endothelial cells (EC), and their crosstalk on tumor development. This computational model was used to predict optimal combinations of chemotherapy and targeted therapy to treat head and neck cancer. Then she completed two years of postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago Medicine in the Section of Hematology/Oncology where she worked on developing a multiscale 3D agent-based modeling-experimental framework to quantify the influence of two different mechanisms of tumor cell-kill employed by immune cells and to suggest the best strategies for administering combined immune and targeted therapies.
What is your role at Applied BioMath?
"I am a modeler, so I use mathematical modeling to describe the dynamic binding of drugs to their targets in our body. These models are calibrated to data and are used for drug design and dose selection for preclinical and clinical trials."
What do you love most about working here?
"The teamwork is wonderful. There is an interdisciplinary team of people—biologists, mathematical modelers, project leads, and advisors. It’s crazy how much you can learn every day, and it’s great being able to work with other people at this level."
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
"The fact that I know I am helping with designing a new drug or designing different drug trials to treat patients is really rewarding. Even if only one of the drugs gets approved, or it only saves one patient’s life, that will be enough for me."
What made you get into the field of life sciences?
"After getting my first master’s in mathematics, my best friend’s mom got cancer and I started getting familiar with this area of mathematical oncology and mathematical biology. The moment I realized that we could use math in this context, I knew there wasn’t anything else in the world that I wanted to do."
What do you like to do in your spare time?
"I love physical activity and being outdoors. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends. In addition to those, I really enjoy playing ping pong. I take ping pong classes in my free time to improve my poses and also play with other people."
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
"I’m crazy about cars. It’s my passion. I read about them, watch videos, and test cars. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my older brother, and he loved cars. My interest started from him."
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
:Well firstly I am going to buy my dream car, an Audi RS 7. I will also donate some of it and help as much as I can, but I would love to go on a trip around the world. That is something I have always wanted to do."
Do you have a motto or personal mantra you live by?
"There are 360 degrees in a circle, why stick to one? -Zaha Hadid"
What inspires you every day?
"To be a better version of myself. I like to learn new things and exploring new places, cultures, and foods."