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Student combating Tuberculosis with algorithms

18/12/2017 11:00:00 a.m.


According to the WHO, Tuberculosis infection is currently spreading at the rate of one person per second. It kills more young people and adults than any other infectious disease and is the world's biggest killer of women.
 
Pooja Pawar, is a PhD student at the Complex Systems, Big Data and Informatics Initiative (CSBII) at Lincoln University, and is supervised by Professor Sandhya Samarasinghe and Professor Don Kulasiri.
 
“Despite the great success of vaccines, new vaccines are still needed for re-emerging and drug-resistant pathogens. The process of development and production is very costly and it takes many years to develop an effective vaccine,” Pooja says.
 
“Moreover, currently, there is no approach available for developing an effective universal vaccine.”
 
Computational vaccinology using algorithms lessens the time and cost required for laboratory analysis and produces safer options which can be less likely to have an adverse reaction.
 
Certain areas of a pathogen- a virus or bacteria- elicit a response from the body to fight back. These are targeted in vaccinations to prepare the body to fight when exposed to the full pathogen, but can be different areas in different pathogen strains, as they can quickly mutate.
 
Pooja’s research is focused on a very promising and novel conceptual approach to determining targets for universal vaccines with a broad coverage and specific immunity using advanced Bioinformatics Modelling and Computational Vaccinology, combined with a deep understanding of the mechanisms of the disease and its host –pathogen interactions. 
 
She has chosen TB as the case study to test the efficacy of the concept while intending to find the most crucial vaccine targets for TB. 
 
Currently, there is only one licensed vaccine available for TB, called BCG, that was designed from only one strain of the bacteria. This vaccine protects babies and young children; however, it fails to protect adults.
 
The low efficacy of BCG, reemergence of the disease in immunocompetent individuals and growth in the number of drug-resistant strains have generated an urgent requirement for a powerful and effective vaccine. Computer Vaccinology has great potential to fill this need.  
 
• The Complex Systems, Big Data and Informatics Initiative (CSBII) at Lincoln University aims to transform the way we perceive and solve complex problems through trans-disciplinary integration of advanced domain knowledge and cutting-edge complex systems, big data and informatics methodologies to provide effective and flexible solutions to evolving grand challenges. These challenges include transformations in Agriculture and Biological systems; Health, Disease and Wellbeing; Sustainable Environments, Ecosystems and Societies; and Artificial Intelligence and Digital Methodology Innovations to promote these transformations.
ADDMAJ - Lincoln Bachelor Degree Additional Majors
BAFM - Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing
BAG - Bachelor of Agriculture
BAGSCI - Bachelor of Agricultural Science
BCom - Bachelor of Commerce
BCom(Ag and Prof Acctng) - Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture and Professional Accounting)
bcomag - Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture)
BEM - Bachelor of Environmental Management
BEPP - Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Planning (Honours)
BES - Bachelor of Environment and Society
BLA - Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
BLAGrad - Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (Graduate Entry)
BLPM - Bachelor of Land and Property Management
BSc - Bachelor of Science
BSCFS - Bachelor of Science Food Science
BSRM - Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management
BTM - Bachelor of Tourism Management
BVO - Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology
CoP - Certificate of Proficiency
CUS - Certificate in University Studies
DipAg - Diploma in Agriculture
DipApplSc - Diploma in Applied Science
dipcom - Diploma in Commerce
DipHort - Diploma in Horticulture
DipNatRes - Diploma in Natural Resources
DipOAFP - Diploma in Organic Agri-Food Production
DUS - Diploma in University Studies
farmmgt - Diploma in Farm Management
hortmgt - Diploma in Horticultural Management
ELS - English Language
GCAcadEng - Graduate Certificate in Academic English
GCApplSc - Graduate Certificate in Applied Science
GCBS - Graduate Certificate in Business and Sustainability
GCCom - Graduate Certificate in Commerce
GCLS - Graduate Certificate in Landscape Studies
GCRM - Graduate Certificate in Recreation Management
GCRS - Graduate Certificate in Resource Studies
GCTourMgt - Graduate Certificate in Tourism Management
GDApplSc - Graduate Diploma in Applied Science
GDBS - Graduate Diploma in Business and Sustainability
GDCom - Graduate Diploma in Commerce
GDLS - Graduate Diploma in Landscape Studies
GDPropMgt - Graduate Diploma in Property Management
GDRM - Graduate Diploma in Recreation Management
GDRS - Graduate Diploma in Resource Studies
GDTourMgt - Graduate Diploma in Tourism Management
GDVO - Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology
GradDipVal - Graduate Diploma in Valuation
BAgrScHons - Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours
BCom(H) - Bachelor of Commerce with Honours
BEM(Hons) - Bachelor of Environmental Management with Honours
BEPPHons - Bachelor of Environmental Policy and Planning with Honours
BES (Hons) - Bachelor of Environment and Society with Honours
BLA(H) - Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with Honours
BSc(H) - Bachelor of Science with Honours
BSRM(Hons) - Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management with Honours
BTM(Hons) - Bachelor of Tourism Management with Honours
BVO(Hons) - Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology (Honours)
PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
PCApplSc - Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Science
PCCom - Postgraduate Certificate in Commerce
PCEnvMgmt - Postgraduate Certificate in Environmental Management
PCInform - Postgraduate Certificate in Informatics
PCIRD - Postgraduate Certificate in International Rural Development
PCLAS - Postgraduate Certificate in Land and Society
PCLS - Postgraduate Certificate in Landscape Studies
PCPRT - Postgraduate Certificate in Parks, Recreation and Tourism
PDAgSc - Postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Science
PDAppSc - Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science
PDCom - Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce
PDEnvMgmt - Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management
PDHortSc - Postgraduate Diploma in Horticultural Science
PDInform - Postgraduate Diploma in Informatics
PDIRD - Postgraduate Diploma in International Rural Development
PDLAS - Postgraduate Diploma in Land and Society
PDLS - Postgraduate Diploma in Landscape Studies
PDPRT - Postgraduate Diploma in Parks, Recreation and Tourism
PDWRM - Postgraduate Diploma in Water Resource Management
PGDip (DRR) - Postgraduate Diploma in Disaster Risk and Resilience
MAgrSc - Master of Agricultural Science
MAppSc - Master of Applied Science
MCM - Master of Commerce and Management
MCm(A) - Master of Commerce (Agricultural)
MHSc - Master of Horticultural Science
MLA Research - Master of Landscape Architecture (Research)
MNRMEE - Master of Natural Resources Management and Ecological Engineering
MSc - Master of Science
MWRM - Master of Water Resource Management
mbusfinance - Master of Business (Finance)
MBusGMM - Master of Business (Global Management and Marketing)
MDDR - Master of Disaster Risk and Resilience
MEPM - Master of Environmental Policy and Management
MIRD - Master of International Rural Development
MLA Taught - Master of Landscape Architecture (Taught)
MMgmtAgrib - Master of Management in Agribusiness
MMgtAgrSys - Master of Management in Agricultural Systems
MPA (CPA) - Master of Professional Accounting (CPA)
MPlan - Master of Planning
MScFI - Master of Science in Food Innovation
MSRM - Master of Sport and Recreation Management
MTM - Master of Tourism Management
Lincoln University website redevelopment project 2014
Developers
Nick Goodey - C# back end and SharePoint Developer
Star Chen - Web Developer
Karaitiana Taiuru - Web Developer SharePoint administrator
Ting Wu - Front end Developer
Managers
Jeremy Baker - Senior managment
Tafflyn Bradford-James Marketing director
Richard Corby - Project manager
Suppliers
Pikselin - primary partner, web designers, UX design