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Our research focuses on using mathematical models and statistical approaches to better understand the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of infectious diseases.

We are interested in:

  • how the evolutionary dynamics of RNA viruses affect their disease dynamics and, in turn, how the epidemiological dynamics of viruses drive their evolutionary dynamics. We are specifically interested in developing mathematical models to better understand how RNA viruses, such as influenza and norovirus, escape herd immunity. More generally, the interplay between ecological and evolutionary dynamics is a fascinating one, and we think that viral dynamics is an exceptionally good system in which to consider the dynamical consequences of this interaction.
  • how the mapping between genotype and phenotype, and the evolutionary constraints that this mapping imposes, impacts the population dynamics of RNA viruses and their patterns of diversification. Although our research focus here includes influenza, dengue, and HIV, it is also broader in terms of developing general theoretical approaches that can help us interpret the evolutionary dynamics of distinct families of viruses circulating in a diverse set of hosts.
  • how additional data, above and beyond time series of disease cases, can be used to determine which ecological, immunological, and evolutionary processes are key in driving viral dynamics. We are specifically interested in developing statistical methods for fitting mechanistic disease models to viral sequence data. 
  • how ecological factors impact the clinical manifestation of certain diseases as well as their evolutionary dynamics. We are currently looking at this question in an application to dengue virus, where infections range from being asymptomatic to causing life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.
  • how climate variability influences disease dynamics in host-pathogen systems where intrinsic factors play a significant role. Current projects focus on dengue dynamics in regions where the vector-borne virus is endemic.
  • how public health measures such as vaccination and vector control affect disease dynamics. We are currently working on the development of mathematical models to guide public health policy for dengue.

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