Student Profile: Somya Mehra
Somya is a third-year student at the University of Melbourne, studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in Physics with a Concurrent Diploma in Pure Mathematics. She has a strong interest in interdisciplinary research.
In June 2017, Somya was the recipient of a Metcalf Scholarship from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) to undertake a project investigating drug resistance biomarkers in malaria parasites. She has worked at WEHI since, researching the genomic epidemiology of malaria to gain insights into parasite biology and population structure. With experience in bioinformatics and computational biology, she is keen to explore biological questions through a more mathematical lens.
Developing a Within-Host Model for Plasmodium Vivax in an Endemic Setting
The global malaria burden is immense, with an estimated 216 million cases and 445,000 deaths globally in 2016 . Plasmodium vivax, one of the primary pathogens responsible for human malaria, is characterised by relapsing infections caused by the activation of dormant liver stage parasites (hypnozoites). Although the relapse biology of Plasmodium vivax is poorly understood, mathematical modelling can provide important epidemiological insights.