Atkins Research Group - Usher Institute

The Atkins group focuses on understanding the dynamics of infectious diseases through mathematical modelling and phylogenetics, with particular emphasis on HIV and antimicrobial resistance.

Atkins Group
Atkins Research group focuses on understanding the dynamics of infectious disease through mathematical modelling and phylogenetics with a particular focus on HIV and antimicrobial resistance. They are funded by the ERC and the Wellcome Trust. 
Their work looks at the mechanisms underlying the spread of infectious diseases and assesses how new understanding can help control and prevent infection. For example, they use quantitative tools to understand HIV infection immediately after exposure. Their recent work published in Science found that more genetic variants are transmitted during the early stages of infection.
Ongoing work is trying to understand why some routes of transmission are incredibly permissive to HIV infection despite showing similar genetic bottlenecks as those less permissive, and whether this can be explained by events happening in the first week after exposure. They integrate mathematical modelling with phylogenetics to understand processes that cannot be monitored directly. An indirect consequence of this work has led them to develop phylogenetic and statistical tools to understand who acquires infection from whom, which provides unparalleled power to understand epidemiological and evolutionary processes.

A growing interest in the group is trying to understand how drug resistant bacteria are transmitted between people, and how this is affected by vaccines. Currently, they are analysing a cluster randomised trial for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in Vietnam using mathematical modelling tools in addition to phylogenetic analysis.

For more information and to see recent publications please visit: