Over the past 10 years, decisions regarding infectious disease (ID) prevention/control have increasingly been made with significant input from transmission-dynamic modelling and economic evaluation because of the enormous global burden of ID, rising costs of interventions in a context of limited health care budgets, and enhanced computer capabilities. The utility of these models are that they provide a formal framework to synthesize and project results from various sources to examine questions that cannot feasibly or ethically be answered in a clinical trial setting. For policy decision-making, transmission-dynamic models can provide predictions of the population-level effectiveness and cost-effectiveness (costs vs benefits of the intervention) of a specific ID intervention or group of interventions.
The objectives of my research program are to: 1) Inform national/international decisions about the optimal strategies to reduce the burden of ID, in 3 focused areas: Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (other than Respiratory), Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and Nosocomial Infections and 2) Provide better modeling tools for policy decisions. More specifically, my future work will be oriented towards 3 flagship projects: 1) We will address key human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination policy questions in low and middle income countries by developing the first HPV individual-based model (IBM) for these countries; 2) We will examine comprehensive approaches to STI prevention, by developing the first IBM that includes HPV/HIV/Chlamydia/Gonorrhea/Herpes simplex); 3) We will identify optimal Clostridium difficile prevention/control strategies in hospitals by developing the first Canadian IBM of Clostridium difficile transmission.
My research program was developed during the increased demand for ID modelling and economic evaluation, and has consistently produced models that have influenced ID prevention/control policies worldwide. My program is poised to continue providing leadership in this rapidly expanding field.