Dr. Katharine Gurski receives NSF and CURM grants

Dr. Katharine Gurski

Dr. Katharine Gurski is the recent recipient of two grants: one from NSF to develop models of the spread of HIV, and the other from CURM (Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics) that sponsors undergraduate research on that subject.

The NSF Grant (September 2020 – August 2023)

Work on the NSF grant, titled "Mathematical Analysis of the Prevention of HIV with PrEP and HAART Treatment", will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Kathleen Hoffman at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Dr. Ruth Pfeiffer at NIH.  The project will develop new mathematical models of the spread of HIV incorporating the realities of disparate subpopulations, concurrency of long-term and casual partnerships, the effect of pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment (PrEP), as well as the transmission through both virally and non-virally suppressed individuals.

The model will include the effect of non-steady highly active anti-retroviral treatment (HAART) through structured treatment interruptions, lack of adherence to drug regimen and drug resistance.

As a part of this project, UMBC doctoral student Sylvia Gutowska is currently working on including the effect of pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment (PrEP) in a model with a homogeneous population with concurrency of long-term and casual partnerships. Naomi Rankin, an undergraduate mathematics major at Howard University, will start research on this project in the Fall of 2020. An additional undergraduate and graduate student will join by Spring 2021.

The CURM Grant (May 2020 – May 2021)

This grant, shared with Dr. Kathleen Hoffman at UMBC, supports research work with undergraduate students on developing a within-host model of HIV for emerging drug resistance for both PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis treatment, and highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART), the treatment after infection.

Lauren Jackson and Ashley Oaks, both undergraduate mathematics majors at Howard University, will be working in collaboration with Dr. Hoffman's team of undergraduate students at UMBC to develop a simple within-host model that has the potential to be combined with a between-host model to study the effect of drug resistance to the spread of HIV.

The intra-host model developed under the CURM grant will juxtapose and feed into the inter-host model, which is the focus on the NSF grant, in a way that addresses drug resistance of both HAART and PrEP.

Previous and Ongoing NSF Grants:

Collaborative Research: Linking Pharmacokinetics to Epidemiological Models of Vector-Borne Diseases and Drug Resistance Prevention (September 2018 – August 2021)

Howard University graduate students involved in this project: Berlinda Batista, MS 2019. Drew Dickenson will join this project in the Fall of 2020.

Focused Research Group: Collaborative Research: Developing Mathematical Algorithms for Adaptive, Geodesic Mesh MHD for use in Astrophysics and Space Physics (July 2014 – June 2018)

Howard University graduate student involved in this project: Martin Arienmughare, Ph.D. May 2016.


Grants and Research