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Lukens to Speak on Mathematical Modeling of Influenza Infection

Posted on 3/19/2012 3:26:35 PM

Sarah Lukens from the University of Pittsburgh mathematics department will present a talk on “Mathematical Modeling of Influenza Infection” on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, at 3:30 p.m. in Stright Hall, room 329.

The talk will be aimed at a general audience, so students are welcome.


Influenza A virus (IAV) causes a respiratory disease and continuously evolves, producing new pandemic strains of varying phenotypes. These pandemics occur seasonally, with about 3 to 5 million cases annually and an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 deaths worldwide. An individual becomes infected by inhalation of virus particles, which infect cells of the respiratory tract. Upon infection, influenza virus triggers an immune response, which consists of a rapid innate response and a slower adaptive response. The dynamics of the immune response and virus/host interactions are highly complex. We will discuss strategies for mathematical modeling of influenza viral growth and the immune response, and show how mathematical modeling may be used to estimate biological parameters governing interactions between the virus and the host.

Department of Mathematics