Department of

Mathematics


Seminar Calendar
for events the day of Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

4:00 pm in 245 Altgeld Hall,Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Introducing realism into mathematical models of malaria

Lauren M. Childs (Harvard)

Abstract: Half of the world population remains at risk of malaria infection, and each year of the 200 million people infected nearly a half million die. Mathematical models have been used for over 100 years to study the spread of malaria at the population level. Analysis of these initial models suggested interventions against its necessary mosquito host, which proved highly effective in the original malaria eradication campaigns in the US and Europe. The persistence of malaria in many regions of the world, however, indicates the necessity for more complex models of malaria dynamics incorporating realism through heterogeneities at a variety of biological scales. In this talk, I present a suite of models examining the human immune response, variability in the malaria parasite, and mosquito population control. I begin with a stochastic energy landscape model of the development of immunity to the diverse set of antigens expressed by the malaria parasite. Next, I present a complicated difference equation model of interactions between the malaria parasite and the human immune response. I conclude with an analysis of an ordinary differential equation model of mosquito population dynamics involving co-infection of the malaria parasite and Wolbachia bacteria, known to inhibit the development of infectious diseases. The range of mathematical techniques utilized reflects the variation in biological questions addressed in this talk. View talk at https://youtu.be/Lj739EqTA4Y