Lauren Ancel Meyers
Main Office: PAT 656
Phone: (512) 471-4950
Alternate Office: PAT 650
Alt. Phone: (512) 471-0877
The University of Texas at Austin - Integrative Biology
1 University Station C0930
Austin ,TX 78712-1095
Research SummaryThe Meyers lab works on problems at the interface of evolution and epidemiology. We are simultaneously pursuing projects in two areas.
They are applying network theory, agent-based simulation, and other quantitative tools to study the interplay between infectious disease transmission dynamics and the evolution of pathogens. In May 2003, Meyers began collaborating with researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control to develop mathematical models of the transmission of SARS coronovirus, and to use these models to predict its spread and determine effective interventions strategies in urban settings and hospitals, as well as across larger geographic scales. This work has led them to make important innovations in mathematical epidemiology that can be applied to the prediction and control of a wide range of respiratory pathogens, as described in numerous publications. It has also led to several projects on modeling human and wildlife diseases now funded by grants from NSF, NIH, the James F. McDonnell Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Since May 2007, the Meyers lab has been working closely with policymakers at the CDC and Texas DSHS to forecast the spread of 2009 Pandemic (H1N1) influenza and develop effective intervention strategies.
The Meyers lab also uses computational and bioinformatics tools to study the evolution of RNA, one of the building blocks of life, and a key molecule used in reconstructing evolutionary history. They have written several papers on the impacts of mutation on RNA evolutionary dynamics which provide new insight into long-standing evolutionary questions.