Brenda Vo


Grad Cert in Mathematics (QUT), Bachelor of Mathematics (Can Tho University (CTU), Vietnam)


PhD candidate

About Me:

I did my undergraduate in Vietnam, then I worked as a Mathematics teacher at a college for 2 years. I moved to Australia in 2008 and started a small business. During that time, I found that I enjoyed helping Maths for high school kids more than the business stuff. So I decided to go back to QUT for a Master degree in Mathematics. I have been lucky enough to have lots of guidance and support from Dr. Chris Drovandi and Prof. Tony Pettitt who are continuing to support me in my PhD journey.

Research Interest:

  • Mathematical modelling for cell biology
  • Computational statistics, Bayesian algorithms
  • Bayesian inference for stochastic processes

Project Description:

Cell motility, cell proliferation and cell-cell adhesion play an important role in many key biological processes, including skin cancer growth and wound healing. The main function of many medical treatments is to influence the biology underpinning these processes. In order to measure the efficacy of such treatments, it is important that estimates of the parameters governing these cell spreading processes can be obtained along with some characterisation of their uncertainty.

My research is focused on developing statistical methods for quantifying the key parameters governing the cell spreading processes, using real data from mouse fibroblast cells (3T3 cells)
and human malignant melanoma cells (MM127).


1) Vo, B. N., Drovandi, C. C, Pettitt, A. N. and Simpson, M. J. (2015). Quantifying uncertainty in parameter  estimates for stochastic models of collective cell spreading using approximate Bayesian computation.   Mathematical Biosciences, 263:133–142.

2) Vo, B. N., Drovandi, C. C., Pettitt, A. N., & Pettet, G. J. (2015). Melanoma cell colony expansion parameters revealed by approximate Bayesian computation. URL:




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