Infectious diseases remain a great threat to humankind, as illustrated by the advent of relatively new infectious agents (such as HIV) and the re-emergence of well-known pathogens (such as TB). The work in my laboratory focuses on host-pathogen interactions in infectious diseases. In our quest for understanding both host immunological responses and microbial characteristics, we have examined a wide range of pathogens. Our main focus, however, is on persistent infections -- infections that the body is not able to clear. This includes a wide range of pathogens from bacteria (e.g. Helicobacter pylori and Mycobacterium tuberculosis) to viruses (e.g. HIV and Herpes). These pathogens have evolved strategies to evade or circumvent the host-immune response. Our goal is to understand the dynamic interactions between host and pathogen, and how perturbations to these interactions (via treatment with chemotherapies or immunotherapies) can lead to prolonged health or cure. Our main research tool is deterministic mathematical models.
The model equations are analyzed by standard tools of dynamical systems theory: bifurcation theory, phase plane analysis, numerical simulations, uncertainty and sensitivity analyses. Theoretical results are compared to experimental data to validate and refine the models. Candidates should have some familiarity with programming (e.g. languages such as C or Fortran, but proficiency in any language will suffice) and running computer programs (such as Mathematica, MATLAB and XPPAUTO) on either or both PC and UNIX platforms.
$25-30,000/year for up to three years, depending on qualifications and experience. Start date is negotiable, after August 1st, 1999. There are no teaching duties with this position. However, additional funding may be available via teaching courses through the mathematics department.
Applicants should send a curriculum vita, transcripts from both graduate and undergraduate institutions, and a letter describing research interests and summarizing the Ph.D. work. A copy of any published papers would be welcome. Please have 3 letters of reference sent as well.
For more information, contact Denise Kirschner via email or phone, and visit the lab web page.
Dr. Denise Kirschner
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