Mathematics and Cancer Therapy
Trachette Jackson interviewed by Lynn Brandon
Trachette L. Jackson earned her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Washington under the direction of Professor James D. Murray, one of the founding leaders in the field of Mathematical Biology. Ten years later, after postdoctoral positions at the IMA and Duke University, she was promoted to Full Professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan. Dr. Jackson is an award-winning teacher-scholar whose research in mathematical oncology has received international attention. In 2003, she became the second African American woman to receive the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Research Award in Mathematics. In 2005, Dr. Jackson received the James S. McDonnell 21st Century Scientist Award, and in 2008 Diverse Magazine honored her as one of the year’s Emerging Scholars. In 2010 she became the first woman to receive the Blackwell-Tapia Prize, which recognizes a mathematician who has contributed significantly to research and has served as a role model for mathematical scientists and students from underrepresented minority groups. More recently, Dr. Jackson was voted into the inaugural class of Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) Fellows, the 2021 class of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Fellows, and the inaugural class of Simon’s Foundation Fellows, an honor featured in the NY Times
Dr. Jackson’s research lies within the overarching field of mathematical biology, which can be characterized by the use of sophisticated mathematical, statistical, and computational modeling techniques to facilitate a deep understanding of biology for human benefit and the mitigation of human harm. Within Mathematical Biology, she specializes in Computational Cancer Research or Mathematical Oncology. Mathematical and computational modeling approaches have been applied to every aspect of tumor growth from mutation acquisition and tumorigenesis to metastasis and treatment response. Dr. Jackson’s research focuses on developing mathematical methods to address critical questions associated with tumor progression and targeted therapeutics. Dr. Jackson has built her career on collaborative research and educational activities that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries. She envisions that this type of research will eventually change the face of cancer research.
Lynn Brandon is Executive Editor for Mathematics, based in London, celebrating two decades with Springer in 2022. She manages a small team of editors and several journals, mostly in applied and computational mathematics.