Seminar Series: Zulma Cucunubá -TRACE-LAC Enhancing Tools

TRACE-LAC Enhancing Tools for Response, Analytics and Control of Epidemics in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Zulma M. Cucunubá MD. MSc. PhD. is an Assistant Professor in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatístics, and a faculty of Medicine at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. She also holds a Honorary Lectureship position in the MRC Centre for Infectious Disease Analysis  at Imperial College London in the UK.Her research focuses on using statistic and mathematical methods to understand the determinants of the spread of infectious diseases and the impact of control strategies, with a particular focus in Latin America.

During 2020-21, her research focused on COVID-19 impact and control in Latin America. But, over the past 10 years, she has worked on  topics such as: vector-borne diseases, including Chagas disease, Zika, chikungunya and malaria, emerging infections and epidemic response as well as vaccine preventable diseases.

Representative projects include:

DICTUM - Decreasing the Impact of Chagas Disease Through Modelling. Dr Cucunubá leads this project in collaboration with Prof Maria-Gloria Basañez, and Dr Pierre Nouvellet. This is a collaboration between Imperial College London, Universidad Javeriana, the NTDs-Modelling Consortium, Princeton University and the Pan-American Health Organization. In this project, we are modelling the Force-of-Infection and measuring the impact on disease burden of Chagas disease across Latin American countries, as well as testing different modelling approaches to measure progress towards the achievement of WHO 2020 Goals for Chagas disease. 

ARBOVIRUSES-  various projects on modelling and analysis of arboviruses in Latin America, including Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya, Mayaro and other alphaviruses.  These include supervision of masters and PhD students.

COVID-19 -  part of the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team lead by Prof Neil Ferguson. Dr Cucunubá  also leads various projects and collaborations on epidemiology and modeling of the impact of COVID-19 in Colombia, including supervision of masters students at Universidad Javeriana.

 The Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium (VIMC) is a large project lead by Dr Tini Garske and supported by GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project includes over a dozen independent modeling groups in several institutions and countries. I am part of the Core Scientific Team that looks at modelling comparison, aggregation and quality standards for modeling the impact of vaccination programs in low and middle-income countries, for a wide range of vaccine preventable diseases that includes:  Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Japanese encephalitis (JE), Meningitis A, Measles, Pneumococcal disease, Rotavirus, Rubella and Yellow Fever.


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