COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Department of Mathematics and Statistics
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Colloquium: Models of Population Dynamics


3:10 PM, Neill 5W

Elissa Schwartz

Abstract: Mathematical models of biological systems have helped to advance our basic understanding of the pathogenesis of some diseases. They have provided estimates of important biological parameters and have evaluated pathogenic mechanisms that are difficult to test experimentally. These models, especially when used in conjunction with data, can suggest potential (or unforeseen) biological mechanisms and lead to new treatment strategies. I will present examples of models that use systems of differential equations to answer specific research questions. One model investigates host-pathogen interactions and suggests a mechanism of wild type HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1) resurgence following antiretroviral therapy. A second model predicts the effect of vaccines on the HSV-2 (Herpes Simplex Virus type 2) epidemic, using rigorous uncertainty and sensitivity analyses. Predictions such as these can be used to guide future therapeutic interventions.