BIOE Seminar - Dr. Elsje Pienaar - Computational Agent-Based and Equation-Based Models of TB and HIV

Speaker Dr. Elsje Pienaar, Assistant Professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University
Date: 11/6/2019
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: 2310 Everitt Lab
Sponsor: Department of Bioengineering
Event Type: Seminar/Symposium


TB and HIV are the leading causes of death from infectious diseases in the world, causing a combined 12 million new infections each year. They are also a deadly combination in co-infected patients, and as many as 70% of TB patients are co-infected with HIV. Both infections require long-term, multi-drug therapy and suffer from emergence of drug resistance. Thus, there is a need to improve and optimize treatment regimens for TB, HIV and co-infection. However, in these complex host-pathogen-drug interactions it is often difficult to quantify and characterize the various contributing factors to treatment outcomes. Mathematical and computational approaches offer a way to simultaneously analyze some of these complex interactions and to help guide drug development. This talk will present computational agent-based and equation-based models of TB and HIV and their treatment, and how these models have been applied to inform antibiotic and immunotherapy in these diseases.



Dr. Pienaar is an Assistant Professor in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University. She earned her MS and PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and did postdoctoral work in microbiology, immunology and chemical engineering at the University of Michigan as well as at Linköping University, Sweden. Her laboratory uses computational simulations of within-host pathogen, immune and drug dynamics to optimize treatment of infectious diseases. Current projects in the lab include TB, HIV, Non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections and Ebola virus dynamics.

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