FORECASTING AND MANAGEMENT DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Provided consultation, advice, forecasts, nowcasts, and evaluation of optimal response policy to two state departments of health and a major financial services company. Correct pandemic forecasts in Jan-Mar 2020 period, including key media influence during the critical Feb/March 2020 period (contact for more details). Correct forecasts in Mar-Apr 2020 on death numbers, timing of vaccine trials, summer lulls, winter waves, and vaccination planning.
Served pro bono as epidemiologist for State College Area School District; managed decision-making and consensus-building around two school closures during the 2020-2021 (pre-vaccine) academic year; steered the school district to zero deaths out of 11,000 students and staff during the most dangerous year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
REGULAR MEDIA COMMUNICATION ON COVID ORIGINS DEBATE
Led first major analysis on SARS-CoV-2 origins (Nature Microbiology 2020). Led analyses on recombination in Alpha variant (Cell 2021) and recombinant origins of Omicron variant (Nature 2022). Routine media appearances in 2020 and 2021 on origins debate and lab-leak theory. NYT. NYT. BBC. Diplomat. Politico. Factcheck. SCMP. USA Today. And more.
GLOBAL LEADERSHIP IN DRUG RESISTANCE POLICY
Introduced, evaluated, and had accepted at WHO-level the use of multiple-first line therapies (MFT) as a way to delay and slow down drug-resistance evolution in malaria; MFT is currently used by 13 malaria-endemic countries. This work has expanded to include approaches to drug-resistance minimization for (1) novel drugs entering the market for the first time, (2) fixed-term public health campaigns, and (3) triple therapies. Analyses are routinely evaluated at WHO meetings and presented to national malaria control programs. Work funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
INDUSTRY COLLABORATION ON LARGE-SCALE USE OF ANTIBODY THERAPIES
Established industry collaboration with Visterra Inc on individual benefits, epidemiological benefits, and economic evaluations of antibody therapy deployment. Helped Visterra build an individual-based simulation of influenza transmission in the United States to examine options for preventive influenza treatment, with long-lasting monoclonals, prior to the influenza season. Evaluated market opportunities for deployment of anti-dengue antibodies in two dozen countries with varying patterns of dengue reporting, dengue case numbers, and dengue death.
INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN PANDEMIC AND EPIDEMIC RESPONSE (PRE-COVID)
Led quarantine and isolation efforts during 2009 swine flu pandemic response in a 550-bed hospital in a city of 10M people. Initiated a live synthesis of incoming airline passenger data, PCR testing, quarantine efficacy, and effect on community transmission, and Rt. Chaired WHO committee on planning for dengue vaccination rollout (2010-2012). Team member of WHO oversight committee for emergency-setting clinical trial planning of two candidate anti-Ebola drugs during W African Ebola epidemic (Sep-Oct 2014).
Please contact if interested in contracting out analyses in epidemiological forecasting, scenario evaluation, serology, bioinformatics, phylogenetics, or recombination.