Miranda I. Teboh-Ewungkem is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Lafayette College in Easton, PA. She earned a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics (May, 2003) and an M.S. in Statistics (January 2003) from Lehigh University and also has an M.S. in Mathematics (July 1998) from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Her Ph.D. dissertation was in Mathematical Biology and she has been working predominantly on problems relating Mathematics and Biology since then. Her main interests include using Mathematics to understand the dynamics of infectious diseases, particularly malaria, to understand transport across capillaries into tissues, and most recently to study inflammatory skin diseases. She has studied the transport of oxygen and substrates across tissues in skeletal muscles, the role of gametocytes in malaria dynamics, the within-vector dynamics of plasmodium falciparum, the impact of incomplete fertilization on the optimal sex ratio of plasmodium falciparum gametocytes, and most recently was one of the developers of a preliminary model of skin dendritic cell trafficking and induction of T cell immunity, a first step towards understanding inflammatory skin diseases.
Professor Teboh-Ewungkem will lecture on "Mathematics, Malaria and Control: What role can people and the local communities play?" As the fight against malaria continues, it is increasingly evident that many complementary control measures will have to be implemented to achieve a lastingly effective control scheme. Some of these measures will depend on the development and production of effective anti-malaria drugs and vaccines. Others will depend on individuals and local communities; individuals must begin immediate drug intervention when infected and complete the entire drug treatment regime and communities must facilitate this sort of behavior. In addition, poverty and the resulting lack of control of drug access has lead to local corner stores and pharmacies prescribing and selling some outdated drugs that are no longer the WHO recommended standards, complicating effective drug intervention schemes. The dynamics of control are complex and so far, we have been looking primarily at individual facets of the control story. Only when all these different facets are integrated effectively will they lead to efficient disease control and possible disease eradication. In this lecture, Professor Teboh-Ewungkem will explain how mathematics can be used to understand malaria and link that understanding to control aspects from the elimination of breeding sites, prevention of the parasite development, protection via the use of safe anti-mosquito bed nets, and the importance of seeking immediate intervention and completing anti-malaria treatment when infected. She will also discuss some potential anti-malarial vaccines.