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Meagan Todd

Undergraduate in the College of Science selected for competitive summer research experience

by Tiffany Trent
Meagan Todd

Meagan Todd, a student in systems biology in the College of Science is currently participating in a highly competitive Summer Research Experience at the University of Tennessee, sponsored by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS).

Her research team’s project, titled “Modeling Networking and Opioid Addiction,” will examine how social networks may either exacerbate opioid addiction through formation of contacts to source illegal drugs or help support addicts in recovery through social groups. An agent-based model will be developed to help Meagan’s team understand how network models might help improve strategies for controlling the addiction epidemic.

"Taking part in NIMBioS has made me so excited for the future,” Todd said.  “I feel as though I can see truly a career in which I apply everything I've learned toward making a real difference in the world. Our work on modeling networking and the opioid epidemic has taught me so much already in the short time I've been here, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to partake in such important research that could one day help millions of people."

The program runs for eight weeks, from June 4 to July 26, and is comprised of participants from all over the United States. Students receive free university housing, a stipend of $4500, and support for travel to and from Knoxville. Participants work in teams with advisors and postdoctoral students in the program, doing research at the interface of mathematics and biology.

Full details about the NIMBioS SRE program and the complete list of this year's participants can be found at

NIMBioS is a National Science Foundation-supported initiative to foster interdisciplinary research at the interface between mathematical and biological sciences.