skip to content

Department of Veterinary Medicine

Cambridge Veterinary School
 

Quantitative tools for One Health research in infectious diseases

I lead a diverse, multi-disciplinary team working on a range of infectious diseases within a One Health framework. We use mathematical and statistical models to design, analyse and interpret empirical studies of infectious disease dynamics. I collaborate with microbiologists who study bacterial infections in the laboratory, and with ecologists who track diseases in wildlife.

My research has three main areas:

  1. Zoonotic disease ecology and epidemiology
  2. Within-host dynamics of bacterial infectious
  3. Mapping multi-drug resistance in bacteria

Biography

Research

1. Zoonotic disease ecology and epidemiology.

The emergence of new viruses from bats in the last 30 years has drawn the attention of a broad scientific community to the ecology and immunology of this diverse group of mammals. We have established a successful international collaboration with Ghana and Australia to study fruit bats, their ecology, their viruses and their interactions with people. My team also investigates some of the challenges posed by zoonotic and emerging diseases (e.g. rabies, hemorrhagic fevers and COVID-19) in low-and-middle-income countries.

Team members: Rakesh Chand, Liza Hadley, Emma Glennon.

Collaborators: Raina Plowright (Montana State University), Andrew Cunningham (Institute of Zoology), Freya Jephcott (Centre for the Study of Existential Risk), Richard Suu-Ire (University of Ghana), Alison Peel (Griffith University).

2. Within-host dynamics of bacterial infections.

Laboratory animal models provide important data on the dynamics of bacterial infection inside a living organism, but observations are limited. Using mathematical models, my aim is to extract as much information as possible from experimental data to make inference about the unobserved processes that drive the spatiotemporal dynamics of bacteria. In particular, I try to assess variations in the replication and death rates of bacteria, and their spread within and among tissues.

Team members: Myrto Vlazaki, Ido Ben-Zvi.

My work covers several bacterial pathogens thanks to a fantastic network of collaborators:

- Salmonella enterica, with Andrew Grant and Piero Mastroeni (in this Department), Dirk Bumann (Basel University), Emma Slack and Wolf Hardt (ETH Zurich).

- Bordetella bronchiseptica, with Eric Harvill (University of Georgia) and Monica Cartelle Gestal (Louisiana State University).

- Optimal experimental design, with David Price (University of Melbourne)

Funding: BBSRC, MRC.

 

3. Mapping multi-drug resistance in bacteria.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major threat to human and animal health. Multi-drug resistance is a particular concern, and is increasingly reported using genetic (sequencing) or phenotypic (growth inhibition assay) tools. However, analysing and interpreting these complex datasets requires sophisticated and ofter tailor-made computational techniques. We are investigating the epidemiology and evolution of multi-drug resistance in pathogenic, commensal and zoonotic bacterial pathogens in farm animals.

Team members: Andrew Balmer, Ruchita Balasubramanian.

Collaborators: Mark Holmes, Lucy Weinert (Cambridge), Jose Vazquez-Boland (Edinburgh).

 

Publications

Key publications: 

Google Scholar profile

Teaching and Supervisions

Teaching: 
Research supervision: 
  • Post-docs
    • Elinor Jax (2019-2021)
    • Aaron Morris (2018-2020)
    • Michael Bateman (2015-2017)
    • Romain Garnier (2015-2017)
    • David Price (2015-2017)
    • Anaid Diaz (2012-2016)
    • Alison Peel (2012)
  • PhD students
    • Liza Hadley (2020-2023)
    • Rakesh Chand (2020-2023)
    • Andrew Balmer (2018-2022)
    • Myrto Vlazaki (2017-2020)
    • Ed Lam (2016-2020)
    • Emma Glennon (2016-2020)
    • Alexandra Kamins (2009-2012)
  • MPhil students
    • Ido Ben Zvi (2020-2021)
    • Ruchita Balsubramanian (2020-2021)
    • John Huber (2017-2018) 
    • Eric Mooring (2013-2014)
    • David Bradley (2014)
    • Lisanne Rens (2012)
    • Alice Wright (2011)

Other Professional Activities

Dr Olivier  Restif
Alborada Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology
Director of Studies (NST Biology) at Robinson College

Contact Details

Email address: 
+44 (0)1223 764963
Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy

Affiliations

Classifications: 
Local Affiliations: 
Person keywords: 
Antibiotic resistance
Bayesian Methods
Ecology
Mathematical modelling
Salmonella enterica
Host-Pathogen Interaction
Antimicrobial resistance
Evolution
Microbiology
Epidemiology
Infectious disease dynamics
Bats
Zoonoses
Bacteriology
Disease Ecology
Evolutionary biology
Funding: 
Biosciences and Biotechnology Research Council
Medical Research Council
National Science Foundation
Royal Society
The Alborada Trust