The incidence rate of posttransplant BK virus infection in kidney recipients has become significant over recent decades and is correlated with life-long intake of immunosuppressive medications. The medicines are used to suppress the immune system of the recipient to avoid immunological rejection. BK virus-associated kidney loss occurs in about 50% of recipients after transplantation. It is highly desirable to know the optimal level of immunosuppression that prevents BK virus-associated kidney transplant failure and organ rejection.
Mathematical models have been successfully used to study and control transmission of infectious diseases. Examples of this success include the Ross-Macdonald model of malaria, the Hethcote-Yorke model of gonorrhea, and the Anderson-May model of measles. The analysis concepts of those models can be applied to study transmission dynamics of BK virus after kidney transplantation.
My PhD proposal is to investigate anti-BK virus and anti-rejection immunosuppression strategies in individual patients using mathematical models and computer simulations. Implementation of this proposal will greatly contribute to perfecting the current medical practice of posttransplant immunosuppression in kidney recipients."