Sally Blower


Professor In-Residence, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

Contact Information

Work Phone Number: (310) 794-7838
(310) 794-9383

Mailing Address:

UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
1100 Glendon Avenue
Penthouse 2
Mail Code 175919
Los Angeles, CA 90024


Sally Blower, PhD, is a Professor in the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles. She is a biomathematician and evolutionary biologist whose research focuses on developing models of transmission dynamics. She uses these models as health policy tools: to design epidemic control strategies for a variety of infectious diseases, to understand and predict the emergence of antibiotic and antiviral drug resistance, and to develop vaccination strategies. The main focus of her research is to develop the study of infectious diseases into a predictive science. Recently her work has focused on HIV, Syphilis, Genital Herpes, Smallpox, MRSA, Tuberculosis, Leprosy, Trachoma, and Influenza. She has also pioneered the application of innovative uncertainty and sensitivity techniques (based upon Monte Carlo methods and Latin Hypercube Sampling) to the analysis of transmission models. These techniques enable transmission models to be used to predict the future with a degree of uncertainty and to identify which parameters are critical in determining which future outcome will actually occur. Professor Blower is the Head of the Disease Modeling Group at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a member of the Advisory Board for the Program in Infectious Disease & Social Change at Harvard Medical School. She is currently serving on the editoral/advisory boards of The Lancet Infectious Disease, BMC Medicine, BMC Biology, BMC Infectious Diseases, Human Vaccines, Journal of Molecular Epidemiology & Evolutionary Genetics and has served as a consultant to the Kaiser Family Foundation, CDC, WHO, RAND, EPA, Burroughs Wellcome, Glaxo Smith Kline, Aventis Pasteur, the Frankel Group, the Global HIV Prevention Working Group, and the International Partnership for Microbicides. Dr. Blower has also recently served as a member of the IOM Committe on Examining the Probable Consequences of Alternative Patterns of Widespr


A selected list of publications:

Supervie Virginie, Halima Yasmin, Blower Sally   Assessing the impact of mass rape on the incidence of HIV in conflict-affected countries AIDS (London, England), 2010; 24(18): 2841-7.
Wagner Bradley, Blower Sally   Costs of eliminating HIV in South Africa have been underestimated Lancet, 2010; 376(9745): 953-4.
Supervie Virginie, García-Lerma J Gerardo, Heneine Walid, Blower Sally   HIV, transmitted drug resistance, and the paradox of preexposure prophylaxis Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2010; 107(27): 12381-6.
Coburn Brian J, Blower Sally   A major HIV risk factor for young men who have sex with men is sex with older partners Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 2010; 54(2): 113-4.
Vardavas Raffaele, Breban Romulus, Blower Sally   A universal long-term flu vaccine may not prevent severe epidemics BMC research notes, 2010; 3(2): 92.
Gerberry David J, Blower Sally   Predicting the level of vaccine-induced cross-immunity necessary to eliminate HIV epidemics composed of multiple subtypes AIDS (London, England), 2010; 24(10): 1604-406.
Smith Robert J, Okano Justin T, Kahn James S, Bodine Erin N, Blower Sally   Evolutionary dynamics of complex networks of HIV drug-resistant strains: the case of San Francisco Science (New York, N.Y.), 2010; 327(5966): 697-701.
Okano Justin T, Blower Sally   Are correctional facilities amplifying the epidemic of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus? Nature reviews. Microbiology, 2010; 8(1): 83.
Wagner Bradley G, Coburn Brian J, Blower Sally   Calculating the potential for within-flight transmission of influenza A (H1N1) BMC medicine, 2009; 7(1): 81.
Coburn Brian J, Wagner Bradley G, Blower Sally   Modeling influenza epidemics and pandemics: insights into the future of swine flu (H1N1) BMC medicine, 2009; 7(1): 30.
Breban Romulus, Napravnik Sonia, Kahn James, Blower Sally   Quantifying the treatment efficacy of reverse transcriptase inhibitors: new analyses of clinical data based on within-host modeling BMC public health, 2009; 9 Suppl 1(1): S11.
Breban Romulus, Supervie Virginie, Okano Justin T, Vardavas Raffaele, Blower Sally   Is there any evidence that syphilis epidemics cycle? The Lancet infectious diseases, 2008; 8(9): 577-81.
Wilson David P, Coplan Paul M, Wainberg Mark A, Blower Sally M   The paradoxical effects of using antiretroviral-based microbicides to control HIV epidemics Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2008; 105(28): 9835-40.
Schwartz Elissa J, Bodine Erin N, Blower Sally   Effectiveness and efficiency of imperfect therapeutic HSV-2 vaccines Human vaccines, 2008; 3(6): 231-8.
Fenton Kevin A, Breban Romulus, Vardavas Raffaele, Okano Justin T, Martin Tara, Aral Sevgi, Blower Sally   Infectious syphilis in high-income settings in the 21st century The Lancet infectious diseases, 2008; 8(4): 244-53.
Breban Romulus, Vardavas Raffaele, Blower Sally   Mean-field analysis of an inductive reasoning game: application to influenza vaccination Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics, 2007; 76(3 Pt 1): 031127.
Kajita Emily, Okano Justin T, Bodine Erin N, Layne Scott P, Blower Sally   Modelling an outbreak of an emerging pathogen Nature reviews. Microbiology, 2007; 5(9): 700-9.
Crespi Catherine M, Cumberland William G, Wald Anna, Corey Lawrence, Blower Sally   Longitudinal study of herpes simplex virus type 2 infection using viral dynamic modelling Sexually transmitted infections, 2007; 83(5): 359-64.
Wilson David P, Blower Sally   How far will we need to go to reach HIV-infected people in rural South Africa? BMC medicine, 2007; 5(7): 16.
Blower Sally, Supervie Virginie   Predicting the future of XDR tuberculosis The Lancet infectious diseases, 2007; 7(7): 443.
Vardavas Raffaele, Breban Romulus, Blower Sally   Can influenza epidemics be prevented by voluntary vaccination? PLoS computational biology, 2007; 3(5): e85.
Breban Romulus, Vardavas Raffaele, Blower Sally   Theory versus data: how to calculate R0? PloS one, 2007; 2(3): e282.
Wilson David P, Kahn James, Blower Sally M   Predicting the epidemiological impact of antiretroviral allocation strategies in KwaZulu-Natal: the effect of the urban-rural divide Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2006; 103(38): 14228-33.
Breban Romulus, McGowan Ian, Topaz Chad, Schwartz Elissa J, Anton Peter, Blower Sally   Modeling the potential impact of rectal microbicides to reduce hiv transmission in bathhouses Mathematical biosciences and engineering : MBE, 2006; 3(3): 459-66.
Breban Romulus, Blower Sally   Role of parametric resonance in virological failure during HIV treatment interruption therapy Lancet, 2006; 367(9518): 1285-9.
Blower Sally   Modeling the potential public health impact of imperfect HIV vaccines The Journal of infectious diseases, 2005; 192(8): 1494-5; author reply 1495-6.
Breban Romulus, Blower Sally   The reinfection threshold does not exist Journal of theoretical biology, 2005; 235(2): 151-2.
Wilson David P, Blower Sally M   Allocating antiretrovirals in South Africa: using modeling to determine treatment equity PLoS medicine, 2005; 2(6): e155; author reply e186.
Blower Sally M, Bodine Erin N, Grovit-Ferbas Kathie   Predicting the potential public health impact of disease-modifying HIV vaccines in South Africa: the problem of subtypes Current drug targets. Infectious disorders, 2005; 5(2): 179-92.
Schwartz Elissa J, Blower Sally   Predicting the potential individual- and population-level effects of imperfect herpes simplex virus type 2 vaccines The Journal of infectious diseases, 2005; 191(10): 1734-46.
Crespi Catherine M, Cumberland William G, Blower Sally   A queueing model for chronic recurrent conditions under panel observation Biometrics, 2005; 61(1): 193-8.
Smith Robert J, Bodine Erin N, Wilson David P, Blower Sally M   Evaluating the potential impact of vaginal microbicides to reduce the risk of acquiring HIV in female sex workers AIDS (London, England), 2005; 19(4): 413-21.
Wilson David P, Blower Sally M   Designing equitable antiretroviral allocation strategies in resource-constrained countries PLoS medicine, 2005; 2(2): e50.
Blower Sally, Bodine Erin, Kahn James, McFarland Willi   The antiretroviral rollout and drug-resistant HIV in Africa: insights from empirical data and theoretical models AIDS (London, England), 2005; 19(1): 1-14.
Blower Sally, Ma Li   Calculating the contribution of herpes simplex virus type 2 epidemics to increasing HIV incidence: treatment implications Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 2004; 39 Suppl 5(5703): S240-7.
Blower Sally, Wald Anna, Gershengorn Hayley, Wang Fei, Corey Larry   Targeting virological core groups: a new paradigm for controlling herpes simplex virus type 2 epidemics The Journal of infectious diseases, 2004; 190(9): 1610-7.
Smith Robert J, Blower Sally M   Could disease-modifying HIV vaccines cause population-level perversity? The Lancet infectious diseases, 2004; 4(10): 636-9.
Blower Sally, Bernoulli Daniel   An attempt at a new analysis of the mortality caused by smallpox and of the advantages of inoculation to prevent it. 1766 Reviews in medical virology, 2004; 14(5): 275-88.
Ziv Elad, Daley Charles L, Blower Sally   Potential public health impact of new tuberculosis vaccines Emerging infectious diseases, 2004; 10(9): 1529-35.
Blower Sally   Modelling the genital herpes epidemic Herpes : the journal of the IHMF, 2004; 11 Suppl 3(5): 138A-146A.
Blower Sally, Ma Li, Farmer Paul, Koenig Serena   Predicting the impact of antiretrovirals in resource-poor settings: preventing HIV infections whilst controlling drug resistance Current drug targets. Infectious disorders, 2003; 3(4): 345-53.
Gershengorn Hayley B, Darby Graham, Blower Sally M   Predicting the emergence of drug-resistant HSV-2: new predictions BMC infectious diseases, 2003; 3(4): 1.
Blower Sally M, Aschenbach A Nick, Kahn Jim O   Predicting the transmission of drug-resistant HIV: comparing theory with data The Lancet infectious diseases, 2003; 3(1): 10-1.