Rachael completed her masters degree in applied mathematics at York University where she was supervised by Dr. Jane Heffernan. Her research studied the effect of various treatment and screening strategies to optimize the control of human papillomavirus (HPV) in lower class countries.
More specifically, Rachael used a series of deterministic models to understand the importance of different scenarios including: screening and vaccination in tandem, screening alone, and the effect of re-infection.
The first set of models used a PRCC analysis to determine the relative importance of screening and vaccination. It was found that screening parameters were extremely important in the minimization of HPV at the population level. This lead to the formation of the second set of models which compared various types of screening and treatment programs. The overall result of this study was that for realistic screening rates, the type of screening/treatment program presents similar results. Therefore, when trying to minimize the cost of the program, while maintaining relevant results, it doesn’t matter what screening program is implemented, as long as a screening program is implemented.