OHTN CIHR New Investigator
Sharmistha Mishra develops mathematical models to understand the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases and to assess the potential outcome of different prevention strategies.
Why OHTN is supporting the development of this investigator:
Effective modelling can aid policy and practice decision-making by offering evidence-based estimates of the outcomes of particular decisions. Sharmistha Mishra’s expertise in mathematical modelling is a useful asset for Ontario’s HIV research community, helping identify the most promising directions for the development of program science around prevention interventions. This research contributes towards the development of improved health systems in Ontario.
Sharmistha Mishra’s research publications
- Mathematical Modeling and Epidemiology to inform HIV Program Science – This five-year initiative aims to take a broad-based look at why HIV/STI epidemics establish and persist where and when they do, and to understand the differences in their trajectories, size, and characteristics across regions. The goal of this work is optimize the design and delivery of prevention and treatment interventions, and to support program science and planning with ongoing monitoring of interventions.
- Modelling the Impact and Cost Effectiveness of PrEP Interventions – With the approval of post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in Canada, health care researchers are now working to identify the most effective ways of rolling out this important new prevention tool. Sharmistha Mishra is working with PrEP researcher, Darrell Tan, to model the impact and costs of different delivery strategies for PrEP to help guide the testing and implementation of those strategies that will most effectively reduce HIV transmission and improve health in Ontario.
- Modelling the Population Health Impact of Leaks and Retention in the HIV Care Continuum – To support the provincial strategy for monitoring and improving retention in HIV care, Sharmistha is working with OHESI, Public Health Ontario, and researcher Beth Rachlis to forecast the transmission of HIV and the health impact of people being lost to HIV care in Ontario, as well as assessing strategic interventions to prevent HIV infections and improve the health and well-being of persons living with HIV.
- Syphilis and men who have sex with men – Recent evidence is showing an increase in cases of syphilis among men who have sex with men, dramatically exceed rates of new infections for other men in Ontario (300x). Since syphilis treatment is safe and effective, a team of researchers, led by Ann Burchell, is testing a new strategy for syphilis screening in hopes of improving the timeliness of treatment and reducing overall rates of new infections. Sharmistha Mishra’s modelling is determining the efficacy and likely cost effectiveness of this intervention.
- Barriers from Prison to Community – Research reveals that people with HIV who are released from prison have difficulty connecting with health and social support services as they return to their communities. These gaps compromise their health and well-being. Researcher Tony Antoniou is working with community AIDS Service Organizations to identify the services most needed in a transitional program; Sharmistha Mishra is using modelling to look at the potential benefits and synergies across all elements of this program and to help make an economic case for improved care.
Work Environment and Collaborations:
Sharmistha Mishra is a clinical scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, where she is part of the Centre for Urban Health Solutions. She is an infectious disease physician as well as a mathematical epidemiologist. She works closely with other clinical HIV researchers based at St. Michael’s Hospital including Tony Antoniou, Ann Burchell, Darrell Tan and Sean Rourke.
OHTN Support: Sharmistha Mishra holds an OHTN CIHR New Investigator Award ($300,000; 2014-2020).