Title: IMPACT - HIV: Interdisciplinary Modelling for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of HIV and Related Infections

Award Month: 
November - December, 2011

In collaboration with the BC Centre for Excellence, the Interdisciplinary Modelling for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of HIV (IMPACT-HIV) Group is currently modelling issues critical to the HIV epidemic in Canada and elsewhere. Because the HIV epidemic presents complex problems that require increasingly comprehensive and powerful methods, the IMPACT-HIV group relies on the broad range of expertise of its members in mathematical modelling and other analytical techniques as well as in the biological, clinical, epidemiological, social and operational aspects of the HIV epidemic to address these issues through a multidisciplinary approach. Currently, IMPACT-HIV focuses on three main research areas: Mathematical modelling of the spread and control of HIV among injection drug users Estimating HIV incidence and the proportion of undiagnosed HIV infections Estimating the impact of expanding access to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on the utilization and costs of acute care services provided to individuals infected with HIV in British Columbia Multiple methods are implemented in the modelling process in each area, including analytical methods, ordinary and delay differential equation models, network models, queuing networks and operational research approaches.

About Project Leader: Dr's. Robert Hogg and Krisztina Vasarhelyi

Robert Hogg has established a national and international reputation in population health research with emphasis on HIV/AIDS, antiretroviral therapy, and marginalized populations. He has published extensively and received previous support from the National Health Research Development Program (1995 to 2000), Canadian Institutes of Health (2001 to 2002), and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (2001 to 2006). At the University of British Columbia he held the Michael O’Shaughnessy Chair in Population Health. He currently is an adjunct Professor in the Department of International Health and Cross-Cultural Medicine at the University of California, San Diego and the Director of the HIV/AIDS Drug Treatment Program at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Vásárhelyi currently coordinates the IMPACT-HIV Project, a collaboration between CSMG and the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS that applies mathematical modelling to HIV epidemiology. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and conducted post-doctoral studies with the Population Genetics and Genetic Epidemiology Group at University of Ferrara in Italy.  She has been a member of CSMG since 2005, serving as the Coordinator for several CSMG projects in HIV epidemiology and obesity.  In 2008, Dr. Vasarhelyi co-founded IMPACT-HIV in conjunction with Dr. Robert Hogg from SFU’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Her current research focuses on mathematical modelling of behavioural and biomedical interventions to control the spread of HIV, the social epidemiology of HIV, and phylogenetic approaches to understanding HIV transmission networks. She has also worked as a consultant on several public health projects, including the Pandemic Influenza Project at the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.