SPH Brown Bag Research Presentation: Fighting mosquito-borne diseases with genomics, machine learning and likelihood functions

Seminar | September 27 | 12-1 p.m. | 5101 Berkeley Way West

 John Marshall, Assistant Professor in Residence, School of Public Health

 Public Health, School of

Malaria, dengue, Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases continue to pose a major global health burden through much of the world, despite the widespread distribution of insecticide-based tools and antimalarial drugs. Consequently, there is interest in novel strategies to control these diseases, including the release of mosquitoes transfected with Wolbachia and engineered with CRISPR-based gene drive systems. The safety and efficacy of these strategies and considerations regarding field trial design are critically dependent upon a detailed understanding of the distribution of mosquitoes and their movement between habitat patches. In this talk, I will discuss the work of my research group in using mathematical models to characterize the implementation of gene drive strategies to control mosquito populations, and new research directions.

John Marshall is an Assistant Professor in Residence of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the SPH. He has worked on several aspects of the project to engineer mosquitoes incapable of transmitting human diseases – social, cultural and regulatory issues at the UCLA Center for Society & Genetics, ecological field work at the Malaria Research and Training Center in Mali, molecular biology and population genetics at Caltech, and infectious disease modeling and epidemiological field work at Imperial College London. At UC Berkeley, his research group (www.MarshallLab.com) focuses on the use of mathematical models to inform novel genetics-based strategies for mosquito control, and to support efforts to control and eliminate mosquito-borne diseases