UCL Division of Biosciences


UGI Seminar: "Viral Phylodynamics for Global Public Health"

22 May 2024, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm

Tetyana Vasylyeva Photo

Seminar Speaker Tetyana Vasylyeva, Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention, University of California Irvine

Event Information

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Marina Escalera Zamudio

UGI Seminar: "Viral Phylodynamics for Global Public Health


Speaker:            Tetyana Vasylyeva, University of California Irvine

Date:                   Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Time:                   1200 noon (note different time than usual)

Venue:                G46 H O Schild Pharmacology LT, Medical Sciences Building




Migration and forced displacement are on the rise globally, particularly in areas with high HIV prevalence. HIV transmission within and between migrant and local communities can be facilitated by delayed HIV diagnosis and less viral suppression due to financial, logistical and administrative barriers in access to HIV care encountered by displaced people. Molecular epidemiology presents a new way to describe viral transmission patterns and unique challenges faced by migrant populations. For example, understanding the timing of transmission events in displaced populations can help design and direct prevention efforts. As such, socio-behavioral and molecular epidemiology methods were applied to study HIV and HCV transmission in forcibly displaced people who inject drugs (fdPWID) in Ukraine before the start of the full-scale invasion. This analysis indicated that fdPWID might be getting exposed to HIV and HCV in the first 18 months after relocation. Molecular epidemiology can also be used to investigate whether COVID-related border closures disrupted HIV transmission pathways. Analysis of HIV transmission between the US and Mexico in Tijuana region showed that cross-border HIV transmission clusters continued to grow during the period of the border closure.

About the Speaker

Tetyana Vasylyeva

Assistant Professor at University of California Irvine

Dr. Vasylyeva is a Global Health Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Health and Disease Prevention at the University of California Irvine. After completing her DPhil in Molecular Epidemiology degree at the University of Oxford (UK), she obtained a Junior Research Fellowship in Biological Sciences at New College (University of Oxford) and a Branco Weiss Fellowship (Branco Weiss Society in Science). Dr. Vasylyeva is an expert in molecular and socio-behavioral epidemiology, with a particular focus on HIV epidemics in migrant populations. Her work is aimed at utilizing phylodynamics and epidemiological modelling to describe the spread of viral infectious diseases in a population and assess different prevention strategies. Her current aim is to develop a framework for socio-molecular epidemiology investigations in forcibly displaced populations.

More about Tetyana Vasylyeva