On Friday, August 25th, the Math Department will kick-off their year-long colloquium series with a talk given by one of our own, the Cliff and Agnes Lilly Faculty Fellow, Dr. Lauren Childs. The colloquium will begin with a departmental tea at 3:30pm and the talk will begin at 4pm, both events will be held in McBryde Hall 113.

Dr. Childs talk is entitled "Modeling Infectious Disease Dynamics: A Case Study of Malaria Immunity." 

Abstract: The importance of understanding, predicting, and controlling infectious disease has become increasingly evident during the current COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the pandemic highlighted the need for interpretable, quantitative models that link mechanism with data while accounting for variability. Despite significant effort and advances, infectious disease dynamics remain incompletely understood, in part due to the lack of heterogeneity considered in immunological, ecological, and epidemiological aspects, which produce complicated, non-linear feedbacks. In this talk, we will focus on an age-structured PDE model of malaria, one of the deadliest infectious diseases globally. Our novel model of malaria specifically tracks acquisition and loss of immunity across a population. We study the role of vaccination and immunity feedback on severe disease and malaria incidence through a combination of our analytical calculation of the basic reproduction number (R0) and numerical simulations. Using demographic and immunological data, we parameterize our model to simulate realistic scenarios in Kenya. Our work sheds new light on the role of natural- and vaccine-acquired immunity in malaria dynamics in the presence of demographic effects.

Details on future talks can be found on the math calendar: