FHS Seminar Series - Community- and population-level uses for pathogen genomic data in understanding and controlling infectious disease

by Dr. Caroline Colijn, Professor and Canada 150 Research Chair in Infection, Evolution and Public Health, Dept. of Mathematics, SFU

November 01, 2018

Event Type

Seminar Series


November 01, 2018 at 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Blusson Hall, Room 9920


Changes in sequence technology have meant that genomic data for pathogens is now quite widely available. I will discuss two contrasting uses of these data. The first is in reconstructing who infected whom in a small scale (community-level) outbreak of an infectious disease. The other is at a much wider scale, and involves using genomic data to understand the dynamics of infectious disease diversity, and then use that information to design vaccines. I will discuss advantages and limitations in both contexts. In particular, reconstructing transmission can carry ethical and privacy concerns, and on the wider scale we have found that vaccines designed for Western populations may be less effective in other populations given differences in circulating diversity. 



Caroline Colijn works at the interface of mathematics, evolution, infection and public health. She did her PhD in applied mathematics at the University of Waterloo. Following postdoctoral work at McGill and at Harvard's School of Public Health, she moved to the Bristol, England and then joined Imperial College London's Department of Mathematics in 2011. She is a founding member of Imperial's Centre for the Mathematics of Precision Healthcare. She joined SFU's Mathematics Department this summer as a Canada 150 Research Chair. 


  • This Seminar Series is open to the SFU and the Broader Research Community.  
  • This seminar may be webcast and recorded.
  • A light lunch will be available at this seminar.  
  • The FHS Research Seminar Series is an Accredited Small Group Learning by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons.