Anton Garazha

Year: Junior

Major(s): Biology

Mentor: Thiruvathukal, George

Department: Computer Science

Project Title: Network Mapping of the Spread and Evolution of Influenza and Staphylococcus

Project Abstract: My mentor and I seek to create an interdisciplinary model of Staphylococcus and Influenza spread, taking into consideration graph theory (a branch of computer science introduced in my Honors 204 course taught by Dr. Thiruvathukal), viral and bacterial evolution, and network relationships. Due to an increasingly globalized society, the demand for disease tracking and management is continually increasing. The first stage of the project would be to formulate network maps of major staph and flu epidemics throughout American history, analysis of which would identify and analyze major clusters of viral and bacterial epicenters of infection in major population centers. Mapping the major outbreaks of past diseases would allow a better understanding of network structure in contemporary infectious disease spread. The second stage of the project would concern the phylogeny and evolution of certain influenza viruses and infectious staph bacteria to track both their evolution and treatment development. This project would culminate in a computer network model of the spread and management of the flu virus and staph infection; the model would generate and track theoretical scenarios of a major infectious outbreaks and spread in major cities. The model would incorporate bacterial and viral gene mutations and generational disease evolutions as well as vaccine and treatment development. The computer model would also contrast the differences between viral and bacterial spreads of infections.