Verg

Vaccine Epidemiology Research Group

Current research topics

Poliovirus epidemiology and immunology

We are the WHO collaborating institute on polio data analysis and modelling. We conduct epidemiological analyses and clinical trials of poliovirus vaccines to guide endgame strategy. Current work is focused on mitigating risks associated with the global withdrawal of oral poliovirus vaccines that began with serotype 2 in 2016 and on next-generation sequencing methods for poliovirus surveillance.

Infant immunity and the intestinal microbiome

We are interested in how the intestinal microbiome affects innate and adaptive immune responses at mucosal and systemic sites. A focus is infants in low-income settings exposed to multiple pathogens and their response to oral vaccination. Currently, we are working with researchers in the UK and India to characterise infant immune status and vaccine response in relation to the microbiome under steady state and perturbation (infection, antibiotics).

Phylodynamics

We have recently developed integrated methods to analyse epidemiologic and genetic data in a Bayesian framework. Our current interests are in using these methods to estimate key infectious disease parameters, such as reporting rates and transmission heterogeneity, and in adapting these methods to next-generation sequencing data.

Enterovirus evolution and epidemiology

Enterovirus serotypes are a significant cause of meningitis, respiratory disease and encephalitis (amongst others). They show diverse seasonal and multi-annual epidemic patterns that have not been adequately explained. We are using mathematical models fit to enterovirus time series from multiple countries to infer the key environmental and immunological drivers of disease incidence.

Research group members

Edward Parker

Edward Parker

Edward Parker
Research Associate

Jacob John

Jacob John

Jacob John
Research Postgraduate

Natalia Molodecky

Natalia Molodecky

Natalia Molodecky
Research Assistant in Mathematical Modelling