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Sharmistha Mishra

Dr. Mishra is an infectious disease physician and mathematical modeler and holds a Tier 2 Canadian Research Chair in Mathematical Modeling and Program Science. Her research focuses on disentangling sources of heterogeneity in risks of onward transmission of infectious diseases, and is grounded in the implementation of targeted and adaptive public health programs. Research interests include the structural and systemic inequities as they relate to the pathways that lead to disproportionate risks of transmission, and modeling interventions tailored to disproportionate risks. Her lab primarily works in the field of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among key populations, in partnership with communities and program implementers in low and middle income settings and in Canada. She also served with the WHO working in Sierra Leone during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, her lab partnered with a network of interdisciplinary scientists across Canada to investigate the sources and epidemic consequences of heterogeneity in acquisition, spread and severity of SARS-CoV-2 in various settingsA key focus of the lab’s pandemic work has been quantifying prevention gaps and modeling the impact of interventions tailored to persons experiencing homelessness, older adults living in congregate settings, and essential workers. This research has supported the COVID-19 epidemic responses in Toronto hospitals, congregate settings, local public health units, and the province of OntarioThe lab’s work has expanded to support the COVID-19 response in low and middle-income settings where the lab has established partnerships with local community and public health programs. 

Pandemic Related Publications

Baral S, Rucinski K, Twahirwa Rwema JO, Rao A, Menezes NP,…, Mishra S. The relationship between the global burden of influenza from 2017-2019 and COVID-19: a descriptive epidemiological assessment. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2021;7(3):e24696.

Knight J, Mishra S. Estimating effective reproduction number using generation time versus serial interval, with application to COVID-19 in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. Infect Dis Model. 2020;5:889-896.

Wang L, Ma H, Yiu KCY, Calzavara A, Landsman D, Luong L,…, Mishra S. Heterogeneity in risk, testing and outcome of COVID-19 across outbreak settings in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada: an observational study. CMAJ Open. 2020;8(4):E627-E636.

Mishra S, Wang L, Ma H, Yiu K, Paterson JM, Kim E, et al. Estimated surge in hospital and intensive care admission because of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada: a mathematical modelling study. CMAJ Open. 2020;8(3):E593-E604.

Mishra S, Kwong J, Chan A, Baral S. Understanding heterogeneity to inform the public health response to COVID-19 in Canada. CMAJ. 2020;192(25):E684-E685.

Sundaram ME, Calzavara A, Mishra S, Kustra R, Chan AK, Hamilton MA, et al. The individual and social determinants of COVID-19 in Ontario, Canada: a population-wide study. CMAJ. 2021. Epub ahead of print. Available at:  

Mac S, Mishra S, Ximenes R, Barrett K, Khan YA, Naimark D, et al. Modeling the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: a comprehensive guide of infectious disease and decision-analytic models. J Clin Epi. 2021;132:133-141. Available at:     

Naimark D, Mishra S, Barrett K, Khan YA, Mac S, Ximenes R, et al. Simulated-model based estimation of COVID-19 infections associated with school closures and community-based non-pharmaceutical interventions in Ontario, Canada. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(3):e213793.  Available at:  

Silhol R, Geidelberg L, Mitchell KM, Mishra S, Dimitrov D, Bowring A, et al. Assessing the potential impact of disruptions due to COVID-19 on HIV among key and lower-risk populations in the largest cities of Cameroon and Benin. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2021. Epub ahead of print. Available at: 

Baral S, Chandler R, Gil-Prieto R, Gupta S, Mishra S, Kulldorff M. Leveraging epidemiological principles to evaluate Sweden’s COVID-19 response. Ann Epidemiol. 2020;54:21-26. Available at:  

Godin A, Xia Y, Buckeridge D, Mishra S, Douwes-Schultz D, Shen Y, et al. The role of case importation in explaining differences in early SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics in Canada – a mathematical modeling study of surveillance data. Int J Infect Dis. 2020;102:254-259. Available at:  

Baral SD, Mishra S, Diouf D, Phanuphak N, Dowdy D. The public health response to pandemics: balancing precaution and unintended consequences. Ann Epidemiol. 2020;46:12-13. Available at: