Charting the Pandemic with Data Modelling — with Caroline Colijn

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Author: Johal, Am
Author: Paige Smith
Author: Kathy Feng
Author: Alex Abahmed
Caroline Colijn works at the interface of mathematics, evolution, infection and public health. She joined SFU's Mathematics Department in 2018 as a Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics for Infection, Evolution and Public Health. She did her PhD in applied mathematics at the University of Waterloo, where she studied the foundations of quantum mechanics. She changed tack in her postdoctoral years, working on mathematical modelling with Prof. Michael Mackey at McGill and on TB modelling and epidemiology in Megan Murray's group at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Broad Institute at MIT. She moved to the Department of Engineering Mathematics in Bristol, England in 2007 and joined Imperial College London's Department of Mathematics in 2011. She has broad interests in applications of mathematics to questions in evolution and public health, and was a founding member of Imperial's Centre for the Mathematics of Precision Healthcare.
SFU Mathematics professor Caroline Colijn joins host Am Johal to talk about the role of data modelling in the response to COVID-19. Caroline holds the Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics for Infection, Evolution and Public Health, and works at the intersection of mathematics and public health, with a particular focus on the spread and evolution of infectious diseases.She has been working alongside colleagues since the beginning of the pandemic, using data to mathematically model the trajectory of COVID-19 and to inform public policy. In this interview, she gives a brief overview of how we've arrived at this point in the pandemic here in BC. They discuss the potential benefits of prioritizing high-contact workers in the rollout of vaccines, variants of concern in BC, and what data tells us about COVID-19 spread in the weeks and months to come.
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