Dr Deborah Cromer
University of NSW
Mathematical modelling of infection
Dr Cromer’s research uses mathematics to explore the transmission of infectious diseases, and to understand how immunity can slow this transmission. She mathematically probes data from experimental studies to understand the underlying ‘dynamics’ of a disease. This type of analysis is very important as it helps to guide development of future vaccines and treatments. Importantly, these questions can only be answered by ‘bridging the gap’ between biology and mathematics; two fields that have traditionally been quite separate. Using an interdisciplinary approach to combine clinical experiments with quantitative analysis she can produce much needed answers to fundamental questions of how people get sick, why one person gets sick but another person doesn’t, and how a disease is transmitted from one person to another.
Deborah is currently partnered with Montessori East Primary School as part of the CSIRO’s “Mathematicians in Schools” program. Since 2005 she has also been involved annually in the “Girls Do the Maths” Day at UNSW, as an organiser, speaker and mentor. This program encourages female high school students to embark on degrees in mathematics. In addition, she is an executive committee member of the Australian Mathematics Society’s Women in Mathematics Special Interest Group.