Leigh B. Pearcy
NSF-GRFP Fellow in Mathematical Biology
I'm a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh and am interested in biological and statistical applications of mathematics using data-driven modeling approaches. My primary interest is in mathematical epidemiology, extending an infectious disease framework to examine substance use disorders and the effectiveness of potential management strategies by way of optimal control theory. I have explored the dynamics of both opioid and alcohol use disorders through dynamical systems of ordinary differential equations and simple cellular automata models.
I completed my PhD in Mathematical Biology and MS in Statistics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2023.
We developed and analyzed one of the first data-driven dynamical systems ODE models with emphasis on how prescription practices beginning in the 1990s drove the current opioid epidemic.
Key results of our work indicate a mathematical condition which must be met in order to reach eradication of opioid use disorder (OUD) and prescription drug abuse. From this, we can find methods of control to reduce instances of OUD at large.