Handel Research Group

Welcome to the Handel Research Group website.

We are located in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics within the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia.

We are also part of the Health Informatics Institute, the Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases and the Center for Influenza Vaccine Research for High-Risk Populations.

In our group, we study the spread and control of infectious diseases, mainly influenza, tuberculosis and norovirus. We use mathematical models, computational simulations and statistical analysis to understand the dynamics of pathogens on different spatial and temporal scales.

One part of our research deals with the spread of disease inside an infected individual. These within-host studies involve modeling pathogen and immune response, and sometimes drugs, to understand what determines disease severity and infectiousness.

The other part of our research concerns the spread and control of disease on the population level. These between-host studies focus on the dynamics, control and evolution of pathogens.

The ultimate goal of our work is to help design better intervention and control strategies against infectious diseases, both for individual patients and on the population level.

More information about our research can be found in the current project descriptions and publications from completed projects.

Recent Posts

Several COVID-19 related projects

Like most infectious disease modelers, we have gotten involved in several COVID-19 related projects recently. A lot of work is done as part of UGA’s Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases, most of those projects can be found here. One project is our visualization of COVID-19 cases/deaths. This shiny app is here. Lastly, a few projects exist as pre-prints. One analyzes mass screening and testing interventions another looks at reduction of mortality if containment is not possible, this one analyzes multiple likely airborne transmissions on a bus and this one looks at several transmission events during casual contact.

A few new publications

We recently published a few new papers: An introduction and review of simulation modeling in the within-host/immunology level, a study of cough distribution in TB patients and a description of our within-host modeling R package. All publications can be found in the publications section of this page.

PhD student Brian McKay successfully defended his PhD thesis

Brian McKay defended his PhD thesis. Congratulations, Dr. McKay! Watch papers from his PhD work come out in the next year, lots of great flu research!

Recent Publications

(2020). Migration Interacts with the Local Transmission of HIV in Developed Trade Areas: A Molecular Transmission Network Analysis in China. Infection, Genetics and Evolution.

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(2020). A Cluster of Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infections Indicating Person-to-Person Transmission Among Casual Contacts From Social Gatherings: An Outbreak Case-Contact Investigation. Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

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(2020). Virulence-Mediated Infectiousness and Activity Trade-Offs and Their Impact on Transmission Potential of Influenza Patients. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

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