Colin Worby

img_4278_1-1Postdoctoral Research Associate
cworby@hsph.harvard.edu

I am a statistical modeler, and am interested in a variety of research questions concerning the epidemiological dynamics of infectious diseases. I am particularly interested in the development of new methods to investigate disease transmission using pathogen genomic data, which can potentially provide a great new insight into many questions of public health importance. The collection of sequence data is becoming increasingly common, and can provide a signal for dynamics at various levels. Firstly, at the within-host level; investigating the pathogen population during disease carriage can shed light on diversification and selection, the impact of antibiotic use, and the size of the founding population, which in turn may be suggestive of the nature of disease acquisition. Secondly, at the individual level Рhigh genetic similarity of pathogen samples between hosts can be indicative of epidemiological relatedness. Identifying transmission links is greatly beneficial for optimizing infection control protocols and highlighting risk factors for onward transmission. Thirdly, at the population level Рsequence data can be used to investigate between-community/region transmission, the impact of large-scale vaccination and the introduction of pathogens from non-human reservoirs. My research explores many of these themes using statistical inference, data simulation and results from population genetics.