Research project description
Herpes zoster virus (HZV) or shingles is caused by the reactivation of dormant varicella (i.e., chickenpox). Shingles causes painfully itchy rashes, generally on the trunk or face, in addition to other symptoms like e.g., headaches. These rashes can cause permanent scarring, and herpes zoster can also have serious complications like neuralgia and vision loss.
Vaccination against shingles has been shown to be effective and is recommended for people over 50. However, responses to vaccination decline with age. Thus, understanding age-related immunity to vaccination is critical to providing effective population-level protection. Based on clinical trial data from new vaccine candidates, this project will use mathematical models and virtual clinical trials to understand age-related correlates of immune protection and establish effective dosages/timings to improve immune protection in older adults.
Required training and profile
The ideal candidate will have strong academic and publication records in mechanistic mathematical/computational modelling, ideally with experience in immunology, a high degree of autonomy, and excellent communication skills. They will also work well with their peers and collaborators, be detailed-oriented and well-organized. The candidate will participate in lab activities, help with the supervision of students and/or interns, and collaborate on grant applications.
Training: PhD in applied mathematics, pharmaceutical sciences, computational biology, or a related discipline.
Research laboratory presentation
Dr. Morgan Craig is a Researcher at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Centre and an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the Université de Montréal. Her lab (Quantitative and Translational Medicine Laboratory) studies how the immune system responds to threats and how differences between individuals affect these responses. For this, she develops predictive, mechanistic mathematical and computational models to study the progression and treatment of cancer and viral infectious diseases through the lens of immunity. In her work and through highly multidisciplinary research conducted in close collaboration with experimentalists and clinicians, Dr. Craig uses virtual clinical trials and virtual patient cohorts to concretely improve therapeutic regimens and patient outcomes.
Please see attached document.