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Dr Nick Scott, Head of Modelling and Biostatistics at Burnet, needs your help to keep crunching numbers and saving lives around the world.

Dr Nick Scott Burnet

Nick leads a small team of mathematical modelling experts who have been instrumental in informing the response to COVID-19 here in Australia.

Mathematical modelling is the process of using maths to make predictions about the real world. It helps us to understand situations, project outcomes, and therefore assist in decision-making. As Nick says:

“By creating a simplified version of the real world on our computers, we can run scenarios to see what might happen if we changed different policies at different times. This can give an indication of which options are likely to be better than others.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, what we at Burnet did was model ways in which restrictions could be fine-tuned to alleviate the social and economic burden of the lockdown, without compromising control of the virus.

“Now that major lockdowns are over, we are looking at how vaccine rollout can be prioritised to minimise outbreak risk, and what approaches should be taken if new cases are detected in the community.”

Nick and his team have not only played a key part in our successful response to COVID-19 here in Australia, but also against deadly diseases like malaria, HIV, TB and hepatitis C in more than 40 countries around the world.

“With our mathematical models, I can pinpoint the combination of tools that will make the greatest impact in particular areas and save the most lives.

“If you apply the same logic at a global level, it becomes very powerful.

“It means we can ensure that limited funds can be directed to their most effective and efficient use.”

COVID-19 is very much still with us, and we have not yet put an end to the big diseases of our time. Many people around the world are still dying of avoidable illnesses.

We need Nick and his team crunching numbers to make sure the most vulnerable people don’t get left behind.