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Research Assistant/Associate (Mathematical Modeller / Disease Ecologist / Computational Biologist)

The post holder will join the Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, MRC University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) and Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health & Comparative Medicine (BAHCM,) in the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences and will make a contribution to / make a leading contribution to improve understanding of the risks of novel SARS-CoV-2 emergence, introductions, and transmission within Scotland. This will involve the development of epidemiological models to explore the risks of novel strain emergence underpinned by a wealth of epidemiological data generated through the public health surveillance systems for COVID-19 in Scotland as well as over 320,000 complete genome sequences generated by COG-UK and public health laboratories. You will be working with Profs Louise Matthews, David L Robertson and Dr Joseph Hughes on a project led by Public Health Scotland, with whom the post holder will receive an honorary contract. There will also be opportunity for close working on COVID-19 modelling in Scotland with the research groups of Dr Samantha Lycett and Prof Rowland Kao at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh.

The project’s overall aim is to link the information gained from SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequencing data in Scotland with healthcare and epidemiological datasets to inform multi-variant stochastic models of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Scotland. The goal of the work is to improve understanding on outbreak risks and transmission in Scotland, generating demographic and geographic risk maps, in an era of disease endemicity and considerable uncertainty around future public health threats as novel variants with potential for significant public health impact continue to evolve, international travel increases, and non-pharmaceutical interventions are relaxed. Focus will be on characterising mechanisms underpinning variant introductions and emergence within Scotland, their geographical spread, and demographic variation in these factors. A key part of this work will involve characterizing population immunity based on historic natural and vaccine-induced immunity, and how this relates to the antigenic profile of existing and future potential variants. This work will aid scenario planning, guide the assumptions underlying predictive models, and inform the design of national surveillance and control measures to support public health planning and policy decision making in Scotland.

The CVR is a unique international research centre with a critical mass of researchers entirely dedicated to the study of viral diseases. The CVR’s collaborative environment fosters a broad research portfolio with research spanning molecular, structural and cellular levels through to the individual host and affected population, integrating molecular and structural virology, cell biology, pathogenesis, epidemiology and mathematical modelling, virus genomics and bioinformatics. The successful candidate will divide their time between CVR and BAHCM, which is a collaborative institute including mathematical modellers, statisticians, epidemiologists, ecologists and evolutionary biologists, and Public Health Scotland (PHS). PHS is a new organisation between the Scottish Government and Local Government, working in partnership, to provide leadership to improve and protect the health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland. PHS launched 1st April 2020 with the formal status of a National Special Health Board employing around 1100 people, and with an annual budget of around £60 million, PHS will provide authoritative information and services to support people and communities across Scotland. It will lead the national response to unforeseen health emergencies and will contribute to national and local government policy through its provision of robust data and intelligence.

MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, BAHCM and PHS
United Kingdom
Closing date
August 10th, 2022
Posted on
July 19th, 2022 09:59
Last updated
July 19th, 2022 12:31