Prof. Lydia Bourouiba, PhD (The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
"Fluid Dynamics of Respiratory Infectious Diseases"
Abstract: The fundamental mechanisms governing infectious disease transmission and contamination by most pathogens remain poorly understood, with recurring debates about routes of transmission and mitigation at the emergence of novel pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2. Fluid processes and physical laws at various scales combined with biological processes are key in filling this gap. Pathogens are always in fluids. Infectious disease transmission involves the interaction of pathogens with complex fluids such as in respiratory droplets or multiphase exhalation turbulent clouds. We will discuss how fluids and their dynamics at various scales are critical in shaping pathogen transport and persistence, thus shaping various phases of infectious disease transmission, with a particular focus on respiratory infectious diseases.
Bio. Prof. Bourouiba founded and directs The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests and activities span a broad range of applied mathematics approaches at the intersection of physics, mathematics, and biology. For example, she leverages curiosity driven fluid dynamic experiments at various scales, biophysics, and a range of mathematical modeling to understand the fundamental physical mechanisms shaping epidemiology and disease transmission dynamics in human, animal and plant populations. More recently, her work elucidated the multi-scale dynamics of fluid fragmentation, droplet and bubble dynamics, and complex and multiphase flows with particular interest in the physics and biology that drive mixing, transport, persistence, and adaption of pathogens relevant to contamination and health. In 2019, Prof. Bourouiba founded and chaired the inaugural Fluids and Health Conference: Fluid dynamics of disease transmission to foster the growth of this exciting frontier area of research beyond her Group and define the key challenges at the interface of fluid dynamics and health. She subsequently founded the new Gordon Research Conference focused on Fluids and Health: Fluids in Disease Transmission and Contamination to be held in August 2022. Prof. Bourouiba is the recipient of many awards, including the Tse Cheuk Ng Tai’s Prize for Innovative Research in Health Sciences, the Ole Madsen Mentoring Award, the Smith Family Foundation Odyssey Award for high-risk/high-reward basic science research. In 2021, she became senior fellow of the Collegium Helveticum Institute for Advanced Studies, Zürich and elected Fellow of the American Physical Society for her “fundamental work in quantitatively elucidating the mechanisms of droplet impact and fragmentation, and for pioneering a new field at the intersection of fluid dynamics and transmission of respiratory and foodborne pathogens, with clear and tangible contributions to public health.”
Time & Location
Jan 20, 2022 | 01:00 PM