Welcome to the lab for Modeling and Theory in Ecology and Epidemiology

We study the complexity underlying the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases.

Our work relies on a variety of extensive data sets, from long time series of disease incidence that span decades, to large ecological networks, to molecular (sequence) data on pathogens. The disease work involves international collaborations with public health and research partners around the world. On the theoretical front, we use mathematical models together with computational and statistical approaches to bridge the gap between data and models.

Our research

Our research addresses the Ecology and Evolution of infectious diseases. 

Host-pathogen systems are paradigmatic and fascinating examples of complex adaptive systems. They combine the challenges of nonlinear dynamics, large number of interactions between diverse components, and changing conditions because of evolution or environmental changes. Questions on how to model these systems and at what scales, how to make inferences from large but incomplete data sets, how to predict and alter the course of their dynamics, are central at this time of increased contact between natural and built-in environments, increased human movement, and rapid environmental changes. Our work relies on a variety of extensive data sets, from long time series of disease incidence that span decades, to large ecological networks, to molecular (sequence) data on pathogens. The disease work involves international collaborations with public health and research partners around the world. On the theoretical front, we use mathematical models together with computational and statistical approaches to bridge the gap between data and models.

See more at out RESEARCH and PUBLICATIONS sections.

Our new paper in Science Translational Medicine on forecasting seasonal flu

A new paper, a result of work led by Xiangjun Du, uses evolutionary information to try to forecast upcoming H3N2 seasons in advance using genetic sequences. After developing the model, we used it to predict that H3N2 in the pending 2016/2017 season will be at a higher...

Congratulations Pamela for the PhD defense!

Our beloved Pamela is now officially a PhD! Pamela gave a wonderful talk to the department and passed her defense without any probelm 🙂 Pamenla will continue to a postdoc postion in Harvard Medical School with Prof. Marc Lipsitch. We will of course be very sad to see...

Our new paper on the non-neutral processes shaping the strain structure of falciparum malaria is on bioRxive!

In this paper we present theory to identify signatures of immune selection using networks of genetic similarity that reveal non-neutral structures of var gene strains in an extensively sampled population in Bongo District (BD), Ghana. This work was done in...

Dr. David Alonso is visiting our lab

Dr. David Alonso is a Ramon y Cajal researcher in The Blanes Centre for Advanced Studies, in Spain. He is now visiting our lab as a Tinker Fellow of the University of Chicago and will give a course about stochastic processes in ecology....

A new paper revealing evidence for strain structure in Plasmodium falciparum var gene repertoires

A new paper just came out in PNAS with our collaborators in the University of Melbourne. This paper aims to discover how diverse malaria parasites are in children from an African village. Using DNA sequencing of var genes, we show that they are highly diverse such...
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