Applying mathematics to problems in virus transmission and evolution

Dr Chris Illingworth (University of Glasgow)

Thursday 2nd November 14:00-15:00 Maths 311B/ZOOM (ID: 879 5617 0528)


The evolution of viruses has an extensive influence upon human health, shaping patterns of infection and driving novel pandemics.  Genome sequence data provides a window into the evolution of viruses.  However, methods for analysing sequence data have not always been developed in a way that maximises the insights that can be obtained from data.  Here we describe how relatively simple mathematical concepts can be applied to better understand data from evolutionary experiments and from viral outbreaks, for the benefit of public health.

We describe the use of likelihood methods to understand evolutionary patterns shaping the evolution of potential pandemic viruses, the development of methods to facilitate the real-time analysis of genomic data as part of hospital infection prevention and control, and finally a case where mathematical modelling could provide insights more general than those obtainable from genome sequence data.

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