Sharmistha Mishra

BSc (Laurentian University)
MD (University of Toronto)
MSc (Imperial College London)
PhD (Imperial College London)
DTMH (Gorgas Institute)

Research Interests

  1. Mathematical modeling of infectious disease transmission dynamics, with a focus on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections
  2. Simulation science for clinical and public health decision-making
  3. Systems and data-science

We try to answer the following questions:

  • Why do outbreaks and epidemics establish and persist where and when they do, and what leads to differences in their trajectories, size, and characteristics across regions?
  • How can we optimize the design and delivery of disease control programs by health-system and epidemic context?
  • How can we build better models and use data better to inform disease prevention and care?
  • What drives the observed heterogeneity in infectious disease risk and health outcomes at the individual and population-level?

We work with different ‘layers’ of data: molecular/biological, clinical, demographic, behavioral, health-system, and economic. We use a combination of statistical and epidemic modeling techniques, and design ‘virtual experiments’ with our models.

Professional Interests

Mathematical modeling, HIV/STI epidemiology, HIV/STI epidemics, Infectious Disease transmission dynamics, Simulation science, Data science


Our aim is to work as “embedded” mathematical modelers – as scientists grounded in, and driven by the front-line programs that implement and deliver services to achieve individual and public health impact. We work to support national and local ministries of health and community-based organizations focused on the prevention and care of HIV and other STIs and blood-borne infections, and more recently – tuberculosis and Ebola. Our work in Ontario and Manitoba supports ongoing efforts at addressing local HIV and syphilis epidemics using a program science lens. Much of our global health efforts support HIV/STI programs in India, Kenya, South Africa, and Ukraine; and (ii) the Ebola outbreak response and health-systems strengthening in Sierra Leone.

Other Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine and Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto
  • Scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital