Hepatitis C and drug use in young adults

Rachel Gicquelais


My research focuses on characterizing population-level trends of hepatitis C virus infection and drug use (e.g. opioids) in young adults in the United States. More broadly, I’m interested in infectious diseases, public health surveillance, health policy, and the intersection of human microbiome research and epidemiology.

Mathematical Modeling & Population Sciences: I am developing an ordinary differential equation model of hepatitis C virus transmission fit to surveillance data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. We are using the model and surveillance data to estimate parameters on drug using behaviors, such as cessation, and to evaluate the impact of several potential interventions on HCV prevalence.

Population & Laboratory Sciences: I am part of a research team conducting a study that will characterize the gut microbiota among persons in substance use treatment. The gut and central nervous systems have an established crosstalk system through the gut-brain axis. Recently, this has been expanded to include the gut microbiome. Our research will contribute to the understanding of these connections among substance abusers undergoing treatment.  


Co-Mentors: Betsy Foxman, PhD; Marisa Eisenberg, PhD