Dr Julia Gog
University Research Fellow
DAMTP, University of Cambridge
Pathogen strain dynamics: from host to population
“Even after the eradication of diseases such as smallpox and the development of new vaccines and drugs, humankind remains at the mercy of infectious disease. There is a great demand for scientists to develop a fuller understanding of infectious diseases, and consequently to develop better control measures and effective vaccines in the future.
I’m a mathematical biologist looking at infectious diseases from a large scale (looking at what happens to whole populations) right down to a basic level (understanding how a single virus particle is put together).
For the large-scale epidemic dynamics, we make models to recreate what we think might be happening. Here, the goal is to explore and understand general principles. With flu, the main strain circulating in humans changes over the years. We might want to know if patterns can be easily explained, or if there are important factors that we don’t yet know about. Our aim is to create models of behaviour to help us understand these patterns, and then come up with solutions to control or eradicate the disease.
Mathematical biology has developed enormously over recent years, and the prospects for increasing understanding of diseases are exciting. I hope to play a role in its future, both through my own research and also through bringing together researchers in mathematics and biology.”
Read more about Dr Julia Gog's work at the University of Cambridge.