Biophysics & Development Seminar: Edda Klipp, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics

Date & Time

Edda Klipp, Ph.D.
Professor, Theoretical Biophysics -Universität zu Berlin

Title: Optimality in COVID-19 vaccination strategies determined by heterogeneity in human-human interaction networks

Abstract: Interactions between humans cause transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We demonstrate that heterogeneity in human-human interactions give rise to non-linear infection networks that gain complexity with time. Consequently, targeted vaccination strategies are challenged as such effects are not accurately captured by epidemiological models assuming homogeneous mixing. With vaccines being distributed for global deployment determining optimality for swiftly reaching population level immunity in heterogeneous local communities world-wide is critical. We introduce a model that predicts the effect of vaccination into an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak using precision simulation of human-human interaction and infection networks. We show that simulations incorporating non-linear network complexity and local heterogeneity can enable governance with performance-quantified vaccination strategies. Vaccinating highly interactive people diminishes the risk for an infection wave, while vaccinating the elderly reduces fatalities at low population level immunity. Interestingly, a combined strategy is not better due to non-linear effects. While risk groups should be vaccinated first to minimize fatalities, significant optimality branching is observed with increasing population level immunity. Importantly, we demonstrate that regardless of the immunization strategy non-pharmaceutical interventions are required to prevent ICU overload and breakdown of healthcare systems. The approach, adaptable in real-time and applicable to other viruses, provides a highly valuable platform for the current and future pandemics.

Björn Goldenbogen, Stephan O Adler, Oliver Bodeit, Judith AH Wodke, Ximena Escalera-Fanjul, Aviv Korman, Maria Krantz, Lasse Bonn, Rafael Morán-Torres, Johanna EL Haffner, Maxim Karnetzki, Ivo Maintz, Lisa Mallis, Hannah Prawitz, Patrick S Segelitz, Martin Seeger, Rune Linding, and Edda Klipp

About the Speaker

Edda Klipp is full professor for Theoretical Biophysics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She has a doctoral degree in theoretical biophysics. In 2009 she was awarded an honorary doctor of Göteborg University. In 2015 she was awarded the Caroline-von-Humboldt professorship at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Klipp carries out multi-disciplinary research projects to understand cellular organization, dynamics of cellular processes and stress response. Her group has long-standing experience in computational systems biology with focus on dynamic modeling of regulatory processes including signaling, cell cycle, metabolism, transcriptional regulation and growth control.

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