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Professor Dame Angela McLean

Senior Research Fellow since 2008
Co-Director of the Institute of Emerging Infections, Oxford
My work concerns the dynamics and evolution of infections. I am interested in how quickly infections grow inside individuals, and also how fast they spread amongst individuals. One of my projects asks if we can design individualised treatment regimens for people with chronic viral infections. When infected people start treatment with anti-viral drugs the amount of virus in their blood falls dramatically. That fall can be measured by taking frequent blood samples, and the resulting curve contains much information about the infection process inside that person. In principle it should be possible to tailor the treatment for a patient based upon the shape of this curve during their first few days and weeks on anti-virals. To do so requires a good understanding of the population dynamics of the virus inside that person. My research group collaborates with clinicians and virologists to gain that understanding. In a second project we ask how immune-driven evolution of HIV is causing new variants to spread through the human population. This project requires simultaneous consideration of evolution inside people and infectious transmission between people. We have made new mathematical models of the epidemiology and evolution of HIV that let us combine diverse types of data to create a better understanding of how HIV evolved as it emerged to become an established human infection.
Professor Dame Angela McLean
  • Background

    • Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College (from 2008)
    • Professor of Mathematical Biology, University of Oxford and Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Oxford (from 2000 to 2005)
    • Head of Mathematical Biology, BBSRC’s Institute for Animal Health (from 1998 to 2000)
    • Royal Society University Research Fellow, Oxford (seconded 1994-8, Institut Pasteur, Paris) (from 1990 to 1998)
    • Postgraduate at Imperial College, London (from 1983 to 1986)
    • Graduate Student, Mathematics Department, University of California, Berkeley, USA (from 1982 to 1983)
    • Undergraduate, Somerville College, Oxford (from 1979 to 1982)
  • Research interests

    • Use of mathematical models to aid our understanding of the evolution and spread of infectious agents
  • Selected publications

    • Fryer, H.R., Wolinsky, S.M. and McLean, A.R., 2018. Increased T cell trafficking as adjunct therapy for HIV-1. PLoS computational biology, 14(3), p.e1006028.
    • Rook, G., Bäckhed, F., Levin, B.R., McFall-Ngai, M.J. and McLean, A.R., 2017. Evolution, human-microbe interactions, and life history plasticity. The Lancet, 390(10093), pp.521-530.
    • McLean, A.R., Adlen, E.K., Cardis, E., Elliott, A., Goodhead, D.T., Harms-Ringdahl, M., Hendry, J.H., Hoskin, P., Jeggo, P.A., Mackay, D.J. and Muirhead, C.R., 2017. A restatement of the natural science evidence base concerning the health effects of low-level ionizing radiation. Proc. R. Soc. B, 284(1862), p.20171070.
    • Lorenzo-Redondo, R., Fryer, H.R., Bedford, T., Kim, E.Y., Archer, J., Pond, S.L.K., Chung, Y.S., Penugonda, S., Chipman, J.G., Fletcher, C.V. and Schacker, T.W., 2016. Persistent HIV-1 replication maintains the tissue reservoir during therapy. Nature, 530(7588), p.51.
    • San Millan, A., Peña-Miller, R., Toll-Riera, M., Halbert, Z.V., McLean, A.R., Cooper, B.S. and MacLean, R.C., 2014. Positive selection and compensatory adaptation interact to stabilize non-transmissible plasmids. Nature communications, 5, p.5208.
  • Teaching and supervision

    • Undergraduate biology of infectious diseases
    • Graduate study in mathematical epidemiology and immunology