Barun Mathema, PhD, MPH

  • Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Profile Headshot


Dr. Mathema's research is in the field of infectious disease epidemiology with particular focus on Mycobacterium tuberculosis, nosocomial pathogens and antibiotic resistance. Initial work included evaluating tuberculosis programs and conducting active surveillance on antibiotic resistant hospital pathogens nationwide under the CDC Hospital Infections Program. Dr. Mathema has been heavily involved in leading the design, analysis and management of molecular epidemiologic studies in New York, China and various sites in South Africa particularly focusing on transmission patterns and drug resistance in M. tuberculosis. Over the last 8 years he has worked extensively on macro- and micro-evolutionary studies of M. tuberculosis employing multiple molecular methods including whole-genome analysis to better understand genotype-phenotype relationships within an epidemiologic context. These investigations have included studies on risk factor epidemiology, bacterial evolution, mechanisms of drug resistance, differential immunity and pathogenesis of clinical M. tuberculosis strains.

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 1995 Oberlin College
  • MPH, 1997 Emory University
  • PhD, 2011 Columbia University


Selected Publications

Middelkoop K, Bekker LG, Mathema B, Myer L, Shashkina E, Whitelaw A, Kurepina N, Kaplan G, Kreiswirth B, Wood R. Factors affecting tuberculosis strain success over 10 years in a high TB- and HIV-burdened community. Int J Epidemiol. 2014 Mar 7. PMID: 24609068

Deleo FR, Chen L, Porcella SF, Martens CA, Kobayashi SD, Porter AR, Chavda KD, Jacobs MR, Mathema B, Olsen RJ, Bonomo RA, Musser JM, Kreiswirth BN. Molecular dissection of the evolution of carbapenem-resistant multilocus sequence type 258 Klebsiella pneumoniae. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Apr 1;111(13):4988-93.

Gandhi NR, Weissman D, Moodley P, Ramathal M, Elson I, Kreiswirth BN, Mathema B, Shashkina E, Rothenberg R, Moll AP, Friedland G, Sturm AW, Shah NS. Nosocomial transmission of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in a rural hospital in South Africa. J Infect Dis. 2013 Jan 1;207(1):9-17. PMID: 23166374

Mathema B, Kurepina N, Yang G, Shashkina E, Manca C, et al. Epidemiologic consequences of microvariation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J Infect Dis. 2012 Mar 15.

DeLeo FR, Kennedy AD, Chen L, Wardenburg JB, Kobayashi SD, Mathema B, et al. Staphylococcus aureus epidemics: molecular differentiation of historic phagetype. 80/81 and contemporary epidemic S. aureus clones. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Nov 1;108(44):18091-6.

Hu Y, Mathema B, Jiang W, Kreiswirth B, Wang W, Xu B.Transmission pattern of drug-resistant tuberculosis and its implication for tuberculosis control in eastern rural China. Hu Y, Mathema B, Jiang W, Kreiswirth B, Wang W, Xu B. PLoS One. 2011 May 12;6(5):e19548.

Gutacker M, Mathema B, Soini H, Shashkina E, Liu X, Fu Y, Kreiswirth BN, Graviss EA, Musser JM. Single Nucleotide Polymorphism-Based Population Genetic Analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Strains from Four Geographic Sites. J Infect Dis. 2006 Jan 1;193(1):121-8.

Mathema B, Kurepina NE, Bifani PJ, Kreiswirth BN. Molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis: current insights. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006 Oct;19(4):658-85. Review.

Post FA, Willcox PA, Mathema B, Steyn LM, Shean K, Ramaswamy SV, Graviss EA, Shashkina E, Kreiswirth BN, Kaplan G. Genetic polymorphism in Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from patients with chronic multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. J Infect Dis. 2004 Jul 1;190(1):99-106. Epub 2004 May 28.

Kaplan G, Post FA, Moreira AL, Wainwright H, Kreiswirth BN, Tanverdi M, Mathema B, Ramaswamy SV, Walther G, Steyn LM, Barry CE 3rd, Bekker LG. Mycobacterium tuberculosis growth at the cavity surface: a microenvironment with failed immunity. Infect Immun. 2003 Dec;71(12):7099-108.