4) Modelling outcomes of influenza infection and vaccination

Mentor(s): Dr. Andreas Handel group (http://handelgroup.uga.edu/)
Abstract: Everyone responds differently to the flu shot – the vaccine does not provide 100% protection like some other diseases, and the vaccine needs to be updated every year because flu is able to rapidly evolve and quickly evade immune defenses. The immunological mechanisms for these differences are still not well understood, despite years of previous scientific work. As part of a multi-center collaboration, we will combine data from several studies of seasonal influenza vaccines, and hunt for clues. By leveraging the power of data visualization, machine learning, and statistical modeling techniques, we can identify which aspects of a person, vaccine, or flu strain might affect an individual’s response to the flu vaccine.
Is the project computational, empirical, or both? This project will be entirely computational, and will consist of data exploration and statistical analyses. We will use the R programming language, and this project will involve a substantial amount of programming.