April 25, 2023

Doctorate Josephine Tetteh

Modelling resistance evolution

Josephine Naa Ayeley Tetteh, from the group of Esteban Hernandez-Vargas, defended her doctoral thesis virtually on April 11th 2023. Her doctoral studies focus on the application of mathematical and computational techniques to model the development of resistance in infectious diseases.

Resistant infections are a pressing global health issue, and controlling them has become increasingly challenging. To understand the complex dynamics of resistant infections, mathematical models have proven to be valuable tools. „During my time at FIAS, I focused on mathematical and computational approaches, “Josephine Tetteh says, „to model the development and spread of resistant infections both individually and population-wide.“

At the individual host level, she studied the problem using dynamical systems and control theory. Her thesis proposes a model based on deterministic logistic differential equations that captures the general dynamics of microbial resistance inside an individual host. This model accounts for evolutionary mutations observed in resistant pathogens and explores the implications of therapy switching from a control theoretic perspective.

At the between-host level, it uses compartmental models to describe the transmission of infection between multiple individuals in a population. A case study focuses on the evolution and spread of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, investigating the spread and transmission of the disease on epidemiological networks. She studied these dynamics in the presence of vaccinations and other interventions, and discussed the implications of vaccine-resistant mutant strains.

Tetteh´s thesis provides valuable insights into the dynamics of resistant infections and offers potential solutions for controlling them. She will subsequently remain at FIAS as a post-doctoral researcher, using deep learning for parameter estimation of mathematical models for analysis, prediction, and control of COVID-19. “I am eager to apply the skills and knowledge I have gained towards tackling real-world health challenges in the healthcare sector,” says Tetteh.


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