- Population Medicine & Diagnostic Sciences (VTPMD) Research Associate 2007 -
My research focuses on better control of infectious diseases, focusing specifically on chronic diseases caused by mycobacteria. To better understand the control of these pathogens, we must first understand the effect they have and the method by which they spread. To that purpose, I develop statistical models for the analysis of longitudinal data sets; the particular focus of my current research is working with the ‘missing information’ problem inherent in slow-growing chronic infections and imperfect diagnostics. I am developing reversible-jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo models for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis spread and the effects of vaccination. These models will be adapted to other mycobacterial species, including M. bovis, M. tuberculosis, and M. leprae.
On the application side, I collaborate with members of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the Institute for Computational Sustainability to develop better models for the economic impact of mycobacterial disease control. It is our hope to develop optimization techniques for these models, allowing us to provide farmers, policy makers, and public health officials with practical advice for managing mycobacterial infections in the field.