(provided by Candidate): CANDIDATE: Dr. Rebecca Smith DVM MS, a veterinary epidemiologist, is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in the field of Clinical Biomedical Sciences at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Her work has been recognized to be unique and ground-breaking in linking disease modeling, statistics, and veterinary medicine. ENVIRONMENT: Dr. Smith's mentor, Dr. Yrjo Grohn is a highly respected veterinary epidemiologist, chair of Cornell University's Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences. Dr. Grohn has expertise in disease modeling and statistical analysis of disease, and has mentored many graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars in these fields. Dr. Smith will also be working with and mentored by a multi- disciplinary executive committee, including Dr. Robert Strawderman (Professor of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology), Dr. Loren Tauer (Chair of the Department of Applied Economics and Management), and Dr. David Russell (Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology). TRAINING PLAN: The K01 award will support Dr. Smith's post-doctoral training and subsequent work as a Research Assistant. During this time, she will develop new mathematical and statistical models for mycobacterial diseases and transition into independence as a researcher. PROPOSAL: Dr. Smith will apply techniques developed for mathematical and statistical models of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis to three other mycobacterial diseases. A model for M. bovis spread within herds will be designed and analyzed to inform US eradication protocol. An existing model for M. tuberculosis will be used to economically and socially optimize control strategies, and will be used as the basis for a reverse jump Markov Chain Monte Carlo (rjMCMC) model that will be able to estimate vaccine and control program efficacy from field trials. A model will be designed and analyzed for M. leprae infection and parameterized using rjMCMC techniques;the finished model will be used to optimize control strategies. These models will reveal new areas of possible research at the intersection between human and animal health.

Public Health Relevance

(provided by Candidate): This study will develop methods to determine the efficacy of mycobacterial disease control programs, focusing on tuberculosis in humans and cattle and on leprosy in humans. Optimal control methods will be determined using the new techniques developed, improving public health strategies for these globally important diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
National Center for Research Resources Initial Review Group (RIRG)
Program Officer
Contreras, Miguel A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Cornell University
Veterinary Sciences
Schools of Veterinary Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Smith, R L; Al-Mamun, M A; Gröhn, Y T (2017) Economic consequences of paratuberculosis control in dairy cattle: A stochastic modeling study. Prev Vet Med 138:17-27
Smith, Rebecca L; Schukken, Ynte H; Gröhn, Yrjö T (2016) Corrigendum to ""A new compartmental model of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection dynamics in cattle"" [Prev. Vet. Med. 122 (3) (2015) 298-305]. Prev Vet Med 128:142-144
Smith, Rebecca Lee (2016) Proposing a Compartmental Model for Leprosy and Parameterizing Using Regional Incidence in Brazil. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 10:e0004925
Smith, Rebecca L; Gröhn, Y T; Pradhan, A K et al. (2016) The effects of progressing and nonprogressing Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis infection on milk production in dairy cows. J Dairy Sci 99:1383-1390
Smith, Rebecca Lee; Gröhn, Yrjö Tapio (2015) Use of Approximate Bayesian Computation to Assess and Fit Models of Mycobacterium leprae to Predict Outcomes of the Brazilian Control Program. PLoS One 10:e0129535
Smith, Rebecca L; Schukken, Ynte H; Gröhn, Yrjö T (2015) A new compartmental model of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection dynamics in cattle. Prev Vet Med 122:298-305
Smith, Rebecca L; Tauer, Loren W; Sanderson, Michael W et al. (2014) Minimum cost to control bovine tuberculosis in cow-calf herds. Prev Vet Med 115:18-28
Smith, Rebecca L; Schukken, Ynte H; Lu, Zhao et al. (2013) Development of a model to simulate infection dynamics of Mycobacterium bovis in cattle herds in the United States. J Am Vet Med Assoc 243:411-23
Smith, Rebecca L; Tauer, Loren W; Schukken, Ynte H et al. (2013) Minimization of bovine tuberculosis control costs in US dairy herds. Prev Vet Med 112:266-75