Tackling the Within-Host Stochastic Dynamics of HIV Infection
(or: Why Virology Needs Theoretical Physicists)
Dr Tim Vaughan
Centre for Atom Optics and Ultrafast Spectroscopy,
Swinburne University of Technology
3:30 pm Friday, 15 May 2009, EN101 (Ground
Floor, EN Building), Hawthorn.
The World Health Organisation
estimates that nearly 1% of the world's population is currently
infected with HIV -- the virus that causes AIDS. While advances
in anti-retroviral therapy have led to significant improvements
in the expected lifetimes of sufferers, the disease continues to
claim the lives of over two million people annually.
Part of the difficulty in developing effective
treatments is due to the overwhelming complexity of the infection
dynamics -- much of which is only now being revealed through the
application of modern laboratory techniques. Sophisticated models
which extend the mesoscopic realism of stochastic models to the
full macroscopic infection dynamics are therefore necessary in order
important features of the infection process.
In this talk, I will demonstrate how the Poisson
representations developed by Gardiner, Chaturvedi and Drummond promise
to render the integration of fully stochastic continuous time models
of the infection process numerically tractable, by allowing discrete
birth/death processes to be exactly described in terms of equivalent
sets of diffusion processes.
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