Featured Scientist

Dr. Karen Levy

Congratulations to Dr. Karen Levy was recently named a 2017-18 AAAS Leshner Fellow! Click here for full announcement.

 Karen Levy

Dr. Katia Koelle

Dr. Koelle joined the PBEE program faculty in Fall 2017. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology. The Koelle Lab studies the ecological, evolutionary, and within-host dynamics of RNA viruses affecting humans using quantitative approaches. These quantitative approaches include the development and simulation of mathematical models, as well as statistically fitting these models to data. Their research program spans four topics of inquiry: (1) Understanding the interplay between viral evolution and the epidemiological spread of viral infectious diseases. Research on this topic focuses on understanding patterns of antigenic and genetic evolution of partially-immunizing viruses such as influenza, where disease spread impacts herd immunity levels, which in turn drive selection pressures on viral evolution. (2) Understanding constraints on viral adaptation. They have used both modeling and statistical analyses of viral sequence data to determine the factors that limit the ability of viruses such as influenza and norovirus to adapt to new or changing environments. Some of the factors they have examined include transmission bottlenecks and constraints imposed by genetic linkage. (3) Understanding interindividual variation in within-host viral dynamics and evolution. Considerable heterogeneity exists across hosts in their susceptibility, infectivity, and response to infection with viral pathogens. With analyses of dengue virus and influenza virus, their group has examined the causes and consequences of this heterogeneity with a focus on how host immune status, as determined by infection history, impact selection pressures experienced by a viral population within a host. (4) Understanding the impact of control measures of the epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of viral infectious diseases. Their group has contributed to understanding the potential effects of disease control for both dengue virus and influenza virus, with a focus on how vector reduction, immunization, and novel therapeutic control efforts will impact disease burden.


Dr. Dave Civitello

Dr. Civitello joined the PBEE program faculty in Spring 2017. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. His research aims to build new theory for disease outbreaks that can explain parasite transmission and reproduction in heterogeneous populations and dynamic environments. To achieve this, his lab combines field surveys, experiments, and mathematical modeling to improve predictions and control of disease outbreaks with a general focus on aquatic systems that are also relevant for conservation and human health.

For more details on the Civitello Lab, please click here.