Courtney Davis 
                                                 
Now a faculty member at
Pepperdine University

Natural Science Division

courtney.davis2 (at) pepperdine.edu
(310) 506-4582


                                                    
Previously a Postdoctoral Research Associate
University of Maryland, College Park
Center for Scientific Computation and Mathematical Modeling

                                                



RESEARCH

Focus
Mathematical Biology (especially with applications to Immunology)

Postdoctoral Research:  I mathematically model the human immune response against the bacteria Shigella in order to identify potential vaccine targets.  Using differential equations and dynamical systems approaches, I am working to identify and quantify key immune interactions that confer immunity against Shigella or correlate with immune protection.  This work is in collaboration with immunologists and clinicians at the Center for Vaccine Development in Baltimore.

Graduate Research (University of Utah):  I mathematically modeled how existing immunity changes as a result of new viral infections.  More specifically, I modeled immune memory regulation and mathematically examined how the memory CD8+ T-cell repertoire is changed by cellular attrition and proliferation events induced by viruses.  Following acute infections, the creation of new memory T-cells results in increased competition for survival signals, which in turn leads to passive attrition of existing memory to restore the homeostatic memory compartment size.  Furthermore, some viral infections cause massive bystander attrition of memory CD8+ T-cells early in infection; this attrition is then followed by homeostatic proliferation of surviving memory cells, along with some naive cells, to refill the memory compartment.  My work looked at how these attrition and proliferation events alter the composition of lineages within the memory CD8+ T-cell repertoire and hence affect the ability of the memory compartment to respond to particular infections should they reoccur.  I utilized a variety of applied mathematical techniques, ranging from deterministic methods to probabilistic and stochastic approaches, as required by the particular biological problems.

TEACHING

Spring 2012:    Math 131 - Calculus II for the Life Sciences
Fall 2011:        Stat 464 - Biostatistics
Spring 2011:    Math 130 - Calculus I for the Life Sciences
Fall 2010:        Math 130 - Calculus I for the Life Sciences

(My University of Utah course pages can be found here.)


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