As Omicron wanes around the world, a number of countries are preparing to transition into an endemic state. Whether we “learn to live with SARS-CoV-2” or not will be determined by future variant outbreaks, the modelling of available data and subsequent public health measures.
Amid this uncertainty, many people are wondering what this means for daily life. Are we going to require boosters soon? How long will we need to wear masks indoors? What will happen when another variant of concern inevitably emerges? And most importantly, what have we learned from the data collected over the past two years that can help us chart a less severe response to future outbreaks?
Host Michael Li (University of Alberta) leads an in-depth discussion that will examine what the numbers say about charting an unknown path forward with what we’ve managed to learn.
Please send your questions to the panel by Thursday, March 9 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jane Heffernan
Jane Heffernan is an expert on immunity and leads the Modelling Infection and Immunity lab (MI2), and is the Director of the Centre for Disease Modelling (CDM). She is York University Research Chair in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. The MI2 lab develops quantitative methods for evidence-based health policy, from within a host (immunology) to a population of hosts (epidemiology), including decision-making processes at government and individual levels. Dr. Heffernan is involved in international immunization and public health research networks, and serves on the international Society for Mathematical Biology board of directors. She has organized workshops, summer schools and mentoring programs, and has developed an undergraduate program in Mathematical Biology.
Dr. Steven J. Hoffman
Dr. Hoffman is a global health expert and the Dahdaleh Distinguished Chair in Global Governance & Legal Epidemiology and a Professor of Global Health, Law, and Political Science at York University. He is also the Director of the Global Strategy Lab, the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance, and the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Population & Public Health. An international lawyer licensed in both Ontario and New York he specializes in global health law, global governance and institutional design.
Dr. Amy Hurford
Dr. Amy Hurford is a mathematical biologist and an expert on population dynamics, ecology, and evolutionary epidemiology. She is an Associate Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador in the Biology and Mathematics and Statistics departments, with a cross-appointment to the Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Hurford recently served as a member of the Predictive Analytics modelling group, and is a member of the Public Health Agency of Canada's External Experts Modelling Group, the Modelling Advisory Group to the COVID Immunity Task Force, the Canadian Network for Modelling Infectious Disease, Mathematics for Public Health, and the One Health Network for Modelling.
Moderator: Dr. Michael Li
Dr. Michael Li is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Alberta and expert on mathematical theories of epidemic models. His modelling experience includes estimation of HIV incidence and prevalence in China in collaboration with China CDC, TB dynamics on Indigenous communities in Alberta, and predictions for seasonal influenza in collaboration with Alberta Health . He served as the Director of Applied Math institute and leads the Information Research Lab at the University of Alberta. His research interests include . During the COVID-19 pandemic, his research group provided modelling support for Alberta Health.
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