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Dr. Jane Heffernan Speaks to Grade 11 and 12 Science Students

On Wednesday November 24 we were fortunate to host Dr. Jane Heffernan from York University to lead a talk entitled: “What is Disease Modelling: a look at COVID-19 and other pathogens”. Dr. Jane’s bio is included below. Professor Heffernan spoke to the grade 11 chemistry and grade 12 biology classes and shared the history of epidemiology where John Snow, an English physician was able to trace the origin of a cholera outbreak in London to a water pump. Her talk continued to modern day virus tracking, including COVID-19 and how modelling can be used to track the effectiveness of vaccination within populations.  

Professor Heffernan’s Biography 

Dr. Jane Heffernan leads the Modelling Infection and Immunity (MI2) Lab in the Mathematics & Statistics Department and Centre for Disease Modelling (CDM) at York University. The primary goal of MI2 is to uncover key contributors to infectious disease pathogenesis in-host (immunology) and in populations (epidemiology), which provides a critical foundation for optimized health policy. Jane’s research program has received strong support from government grants, and industrial research contracts. Jane currently serves as a scientific advisor to the Canadian COVID Immunity Task Force, and to Health Canada’s HealthCare Demand Assessment Team. She is also a co-Director of the Canadian Centre for Disease Modelling (CDM), Chair of the Society of Mathematical Biology Mathematical Epidemiology Subgroup, and she leads national and international research groups in Mathematical Immunology and Immunity Modelling. Dr Heffernan was recently elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars.