Carnegie Mellon University

Viruses, Vaccines and Digital Life

Computational Biology

By Roni Rosenfeld

Viruses are the simplest known self-replicating computational systems. They also happen to be the leading emerging threat to humanity in the 21st century. Fortunately, understanding viruses as digital programs opens the door to computational methods for defending against these threats. In collaboration with epidemiologists, virologists and others at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Public Health, we computationally model epidemic spread, create epidemic forecasts and try to better understand the evolution of influenza — a critical step toward developing a universal flu vaccine.