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VanBUG Seminar: Mike Famulare (Institute for Disease Modeling)


Speaker Info:

Mike Famulare
Institute for Disease Modeling


Mike Famulare has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Washington, Seattle, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics Education from New York University. His doctoral thesis was in Computational Neuroscience and focused on the mathematics and biophysics of single neuron information processing. Mike has a strong science education and community education focus and spent some time as a physics teacher at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, N.Y.C. before turning to research. Mike’s current research focuses on live polio vaccine transmission and genetic instability, polio immunity, molecular epidemiology, and transmission dynamics in heterogeneous populations.

Mass vaccination with the attenuated oral polio vaccine (OPV) has prevented millions of cases of childhood paralysis over the last sixty years, but it has also created a unique model system for emerging human pathogens. Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) outbreaks occur rarely, at a rate of roughly one per year per hundred million doses delivered. The low cVDPV emergence rate contrasts with the high reversion rates of attenuating substitutions in OPV recipients. I will discuss how poliovirus genetic sequencing and epidemiological data work together to help us understand the separation of scales between cVDPV emergence and its underlying microevolution. The evidence highlights that virulence, within-host fitness, and between-host transmissibility are not equivalent.

Introductory Speaker:

  • Rashedul Islam

Webcast Link: 
(This technology is brought to you by WestGrid and Compute Canada with support from PHSA Telehelath)

Trainees are invited to meet with the VanBUG speaker from 5:00-5:45pm for open discussion of both science and career paths. Following the presentation, guests are invited to stay for networking over pizza and refreshments.


About VanBUG: 

VanBUG (Vancouver Bioinformatics Users Group) is an association of researchers, other professionals and students in the BC Lower Mainland who have an interest in the field of bioinformatics. VanBUG meets on the second Thursday of every month from September through April. Research presentations by bioinformatics leaders, students and industry representatives are followed by networking over pizza and refreshments.