Individual-based Modelling of Infection Spread and Immune Response Dynamics
The goal of this project is to develop mathematical models and perform computer simulations with a two-fold research focus:
(i) Investigation of surveillance testing and quarantine policies as relevant non-pharmaceutical interventions during an endemic or pandemic situation; and
(ii) Investigation of immune response dynamics to pathogen invasion in the lung.
With regard to focus (i), we will develop a framework for efficient quantification and risk assessment based on existing data of several real-life surveillance studies. Individual-based mathematical models will be developed to reliably predict the temporal course as well as the spatial spread of infectious diseases in utility institutions like day-care centres for children, schools, hospitals and nursing homes. At first, we will build on existing data of the COVID-19 pandemic [1,2]; with time, these models will be generalized to be applicable to various pathogens that may cause future pandemics.
Concerning focus (ii), we will – depending on available data from our experimental collaborators – also model the immune response dynamics, e.g., in the human lung building on our existing individual-based models of the alveolus .
 Engels G, Forster J, Streng A, Rücker V, Rudolph P, Pietsch F, Wallstabe J, Wallstabe L, Krauthausen M, Schmidt J, Ludwig T, Bauer C, Gierszewski D, Bendig J, Timme S, Jans T, Weißbrich B, Romanos M, Dölken L, Heuschmann P, Härtel C, Gágyor I, Figge MT, Liese J, Kurzai O (2022) Acceptance of different self-sampling methods for semiweekly SARS-CoV-2 testing in asymptomatic children and childcare workers at German Day Care Centers: A nonrandomized controlled trial. JAMA Netw Open 5(9), e2231798.
 Forster J, Streng A, Rudolph P, Rücker V, Wallstabe J, Timme S, Pietsch F, Hartmann K, Krauthausen M, Schmidt J, Ludwig T, Gierszewski D, Jans T, Engels G, Weißbrich B, Romanos M, Dölken L, Heuschmann P, Härtel C, Gágyor I, Figge MT, Kurzai O, Liese J (2022) Feasibility of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance testing among children and childcare workers at German Day Care Centers: A nonrandomized controlled trial. JAMA Netw Open 5(1), e2142057.
 Blickensdorf M, Timme S, Figge MT (2020) Hybrid agent-based modeling of Aspergillus fumigatus infection to quantitatively investigate the role of Pores of Kohn in human alveoli. Front Microbiol 11, 1951.
Start of PhD
February 10, 2023