Marie Claude Boily

My research program focuses on infectious diseases epidemiology, and especially HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections in both developing and developed countries using a combination of mathematical modelling statistical and empirical techniques/studies.

My projects include studies to better understand the transmission dynamics of HIV/AIDS and the behavioural determinants of HIV transmission in evolving HIV/AIDS epidemics in Africa and India. I am also involved in modelling and clinical trial studies to look at the impact of different STI or HIV/AIDS intervention (e.g. prevention of mother-to-child transmission, HIV or HPV vaccination etc).

A second area of interest is the more innovative use of transmission dynamics models to simulate epidemiological or clinical trial studies for the prevention of infectious diseases before they are implemented in the field. This is a cost-effective way of testing, validating and improving the design of very costly studies such as community randomised trials- to ensure that they will lead to conclusive results. The pertinence of this theme stems from the fact that a number of large and costly intervention trials in Africa have disappointedly resulted in inconclusive results on key epidemiological questions, due to the complex transmission dynamics of HIV infection. This also includes the development of a rigorous measure and evaluation framework using sophisticated transmission dynamic models in combination with carefully collected serial biological and behavioural data in order to more rigorously evaluate the impact of HIV intervention. This is an important application of mathematical model because it will provide a scientific evaluation tool that will be possible to use in different settings instead of using more costly randomised community based trials.

Finally my research interests also include the study of sexual networks and the impact of contact network structure on the spread of infection, and the determinant of change in sexual behaviour or behavioural decision making, particularly in the context of an HIV/AIDS epidemic.