The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


Research Projects

Project: Modelling spatial and demographic heterogeneity of malaria transmission risk

McVernon Group

After 15 years of decreases in overall burden, malaria transmission has now become highly heterogeneous in space (with areas of high transmission surrounded by vast areas of little or no transmission) and/or restricted to specific high-risk groups such a migrants, forest workers or miners. If elimination is to be achieved, it will essential to be able to accurately identify and map such high-risk areas / populations and understand the key processes driving this heterogeneity. As part of this project you will apply advanced statistical methods to extensive longitudinal and cross-sectional dataset (incl. epidemiological, genetic and immunological variables) from Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Thailand and Brazil investigate key factors that contribute to these differences and develop novel metrics to quantify heterogeneity. Integrating this knowledge into mathematical malaria transmission models (White et al 2018), you will explore how current and novel intervention can be used to target transmission ‘hotspots’. Requires strong numerical abilities.

This project could be undertaken as PhD Project or individual parts could be shaped into in 2-3 separate MSc projects.

Contact project supervisor for further
information and application enquiries

Project Supervisor

Professor Ivo Mueller, Department of Medical Biology/WEHI

Associate Professor Leanne Robinson, Burnet Institute

Professor Jodie McVernon, Doherty Institute

Dr. David Price, Doherty Institute 

Project availability
Master of Biomedical Science

McVernon Group

13 vacancies

Viral Infectious Diseases
Cross Cutting Disciplines

Professor Jodie McVernon is a physician with subspecialty qualifications in public health and vaccinology. She has extensive expertise in clinical vaccine trials, epidemiologic studies and mathematical modelling of infectious diseases, gained at the University of Oxford, Health Protection Agency London and the University of Melbourne. Her work focuses on the application of a range of cross-disciplinary methodological approaches, including mathematical and computational models, to synthesise insights from basic biology, epidemiological data and sociological research. These models advance understanding of the observed epidemiology of infectious diseases and inform understanding of optimal interventions for disease control.