Brief professional bio

Current position

I am Professor and Associate Department Head in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health, at the University of Georgia.

I have adjunct appointments in UGA’s School of Ecology and Department of Infectious Diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as the Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. I am also a Member of UGA’s Institute of Bioinformatics and Faculty of Infectious Diseases.

Research focus

I work on data analytics and modeling of infectious diseases, mainly influenza, tuberculosis and norovirus. Lately, I have also worked a lot on COVID-19. I uses mathematical models, computational simulations and statistical analysis to understand the dynamics of pathogens on different spatial and temporal scales. I work both on the within-host level (the immunology, virology, microbiology scale) and the population level (the epidemiology, ecology, evolution scale). The ultimate goal of my work is to help design better intervention and control strategies against infectious diseases, both for individual patients and on the population level.

Descriptions of some current research projects can be found on my research group website. Slides for recent talks and presentations are located on this website and can be found here.

Previous positions

Before I started my faculty position at UGA, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Biology at Emory University in the group of Rustom Antia. During my Postdoc I made the transition from physics to infectious disease modeling.

I obtained a Ph.D. in physics from the Center for Nonlinear Science and School of Physics, at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I worked with Roman Grigoriev on the topic of localized control of spatially extended, nonlinear dynamical systems.

I grew up in Germany and received my B.S. (or what could be considered the German equivalent) from the Department of Physics at the University of Stuttgart.

Additional, completely irrelevant information

My current Erdős number is (as far as I’m aware) 4. (Paul Erdős -> Ernst Gabor Straus -> Raymond M. Redheffer -> Sergei S. Pilyugin -> Andreas Handel).