‘Making connections in hep C virus transmissions’
Sofia's research looks at developing methodologies to help solve Hep C outbreaks, by helping the public health system respond to, and reduce large-scale Hep C infection. Her research uses mathematical modelling to identify groups who transmit Hep C more than others, targeting treatment to these groups for preventing wide-spread infection. Research aims to save hundreds of millions of dollars and help eliminate hep C from Aus. This research could also be applied to help transmission of other viral epidemics such as Ebola, Zika etc.
Sofia hated science as a teenager and was more surprised than anyone else when she discovered, while enrolled in an arts degree at university, that she actually loved it. She became a molecular biologist and is now undertaking doctoral studies with the Kirby Institute, teaching at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Sofia has broad research interests, including phylogenetics, molecular diagnostics, antiviral drug resistance, infectious disease epidemiology, the health of marginalised populations and public health policy. She is currently studying the population level patterns in the transmission of hepatitis C virus in Australia, and identifying targets for the implementation of novel public health interventions and surveillance systems. Sofia's favourite thing to talk about? Science, and her research. Aside from surfing big, perfect waves, for Sofia there is no greater thrill than seeing the 'a-ha' moment on a person's face when they start to make new connections and think like a scientist.