Analytics and Modeling Track Fellows
Diepreye Ayabina, PhD, MA
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Division of Bacterial Diseases
Dr. Diepreye Ayabina earned a MSc in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Leeds and a PhD in Mathematics from the Imperial College of London. Her dissertation was titled “Modelling and Genomic Analysis of Competition and Diversity in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.” Before the fellowship, she was a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Oxford where she built and analyzed mathematical models of Schistosomiasis transmission. Dr. Ayabina is assigned to the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Division of Bacterial Diseases where she will; evaluate post-marketing vaccine effectiveness and recommend vaccination strategies for many critical vaccines including PCV13 for pneumonia, MenACWY and MenB for meningococcal disease, and DTaP and Tdap for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis; develop mathematical models to predict geographic scope, temporal periodicity, and intensity scale of various infectious disease outbreaks at local levels; and evaluate cost effectiveness and impact of routine meningococcal vaccination in persons experiencing homelessness. Dr. Ayabina’s goal is to work as a disease modeler within a research or academic institution and possibly establish her own research group to carry out research that will contribute to the control and possible elimination of infectious diseases by actively contributing to public health decision making.
Francois Castonguay, PhD
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, Health Economics & Modeling Unit
Dr. Francois Castonguay earned a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis. His dissertation was titled “Economic and Health Consequences of Inefficient Treatment of Communicable Human Diseases” where he highlighted the sources of potential inefficiencies that may occur in the treatment of environmentally transmitted diseases and in the treatment of a disease that has a heterogeneous burden across space. Before the fellowship, he was a Teaching Assistant. Dr. Castonguay is assigned to the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections, Health Economics & Modeling Unit where he will develop a mathematical model of the transmission of RFV and the impact of potential interventions (mostly vaccination of cattle). Using the transmission model, Dr. Castonguay will build a cost-effectiveness model of cattle vaccination. He will also develop a tool used by public health officials directly dealing with responding to an Ebola outbreak to aid public health officials to understand the conditions under which it may be best to use one of two vaccination strategies. Dr. Castonguay’s career goal is to continue research on the inefficient societal management of resources relating to the (mis)management of communicable diseases and its link with the natural and social environment.
Kelly Charniga, PhD, MPH
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, Poxvirus and Rabies Branch
Dr. Kelly Charniga earned her MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan and PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from Imperial College in London where she used spatiotemporal models to study the invasion dynamics of Zika and chikungunya epidemics. Her dissertation was titled “Epidemiology of the 2014-2017 Zika and chikungunya epidemics in Colombia,” where she used statistical and mathematical modeling to understand the spatial and temporal invasion dynamics of the epidemics as well as estimate reporting rates and transmissibility Dr. Charniga has attended trainings in Transboundary Animal Diseases (CEEZAD BSL-3 Training) and infectious disease outbreak modeling (MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis). She has interned and worked for several diverse organizations including the Detroit Health Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Mexican Consulate in Detroit. Dr. Charniga is assigned to the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology, Poxvirus and Rabies Branch. There, she will apply a range of modeling techniques to Monkeypox and Rabies to better understand transmission and spatial temporal spread as well as microplanning for essential service delivery. Dr. Charniga’s career goal is to bridge the gap between applied epidemiology and infectious disease modeling.
Patrick Clay, PhD
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Division of STD Prevention
Dr. Patrick Clay earned his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rice University and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan studying the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. His dissertation was titled “The Impact of Within-Host Priority Effects on Disease Dynamics in Multi-Pathogen Systems.” Recently he contributed to a team of infectious disease modelers with Northwestern University doing SARS-CoV-2 modelling for the Illinois Department of Public Health where his specific duties were to create code that could estimate transmission rate and disease spread from hospitalization data throughout Illinois. Dr. Clay also took a two-week course on the mathematical modelling of infectious disease through the Mathematical Biological Institute at The Ohio State University. This training included instruction on basic SIR models, Stochastic Models, Agent Based models, Spatially structured models, and their various applications. Dr. Clay is assigned to the National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Division of STD Prevention. There he will work on a variety of projects such as; modeling the demographics and population trends in prevalence and incidence of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, Syphilis, and Genital Herpes between 2008 and 2018 in the United States, modeling the effectiveness of Meningitis B Vaccination for the prevention of Neisseria Gonorrhea, modeling the impact of partner services and enhanced partner services for STI prevention, and modeling the transmission of Neisseria Gonorrhea between multiple anatomical sites and potentially redundant transmission routes. Dr. Clay’s career goal is to advance CDC’s mission to protect the health security of the nation through infectious disease modeling, as well as increase basic research uptake into public health practice.
Carl Corcoran, PhD, MS
Fellowship Assignment: Center for Global Health, Division of Global HIV and TB
Dr. Carl Corcoran earned his MS and PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Davis. Before the fellowship, he was a Teaching Assistant for Calculus for Biosciences, with a strong focus on active learning and applications of biological principles. His dissertation research focused on network-based models of epidemic spread, in particular, how theoretical models can integrate and subsequently elucidate the effects of non-pharmaceutical public health interventions. Dr. Corcoran is assigned to the Center for Global Health, Division of Global HIV and TB working on developing a decision tool for countries to use to prioritize pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in populations and/or geographic areas. He will also work on developing tools and strategies to help countries reach the UNAIDS 2025 target of ensuring that 95% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) know their HIV status and assist with generating and validating risk scores for adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) to inform access to differentiated primary HIV prevention interventions. Dr Corcoran’s career goal is to work at the federal or state level modeling infectious diseases while building an economic analysis skill set to complement his mathematical modeling experience with an aim to improve his ability to understand and present the impact of public health interventions in a holistic way.
Nishant Kishore, PhD, MPH
Fellowship Assignment: Center for Global Health, Global Immunization Division
Dr. Nishant Kishore earned his MPH in Global Epidemiology from Emory University and his PhD in Epidemiology from Harvard University. His dissertation was titled “Quantifying Disease Dynamics in Post-disaster and Acute epidemic Settings Using Passively Collected Data” where his studies use a variety of passively collected datasets in specific response and epidemic scenarios to better understand where they can be directly integrated into existing methodology, where gaps exist limiting their use and perhaps most importantly, where they may fall short. He is CEO and Co-founder of EpiTech Consultants where he executes projects for health and humanitarian organizations linking data science, public health, and technology. He was also a data manager for Mararia Zero-CDC Foundation where he designed, developed, and tested data aggregation platforms for mobile data aggregation in a health facilities survey in Haiti. Dr. Kishore is assigned to the Center for Global Health, Global Immunization Division where he will; build a predictive model of factors associated with successfully interrupting cVDPV2 transmission within 365 days of initial detection; build an economic model of the costs and cost-effectiveness of the new nOPV2 vaccine in responding to cVDPV2 outbreaks compared to the older monovalent OPV type 2 (mOPV2) vaccine; and build a model of booster dose impacts on each of the three diseases for country-level cost-effectiveness evaluations. Dr. Kishore’s goal is to use his current academic infectious disease epidemiology experience and transition to a role deeply entrenched in the interdisciplinary and locally pertinent work needed in an applied public health practice.
Zachary Madewell, PhD, MPH
Fellowship Assignment: Center for Global Health, OD, CHAMPS Program
Dr. Zachary Madewell earned his MPH in Epidemiology from San Diego State University and his PhD in Epidemiology from the University of California, San Diego. His dissertation was titled “Risk Factors and Surveillance for Arboviruses and Their Vectors in Guatemala and Puerto Rico.” Before the fellowship, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida where he identified optimal vaccine efficacy trial designs, created a “shiny” interactive app, mentors, published, and presented abstracts. Dr. Madewell is assigned to the Center for Global Health, OD, CHAMPS Program where he will work on; modeling to estimate reduction of child mortality based on prioritization of interventions informed by CHAMPS Determination of Cause of Death (DeCoDe) data; CHAMPS Cost Effectiveness Analyses; and modeling CHAMPS data to reflect the catchment areas and improve usability in regional and global models of disease burden. Dr. Madewell’s career goals are to work in the field of infectious disease and gain additional epidemiologic skills through direct collaboration and mentoring from brilliant epidemic modelers.
Aimee Massey, PhD, MS
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Division of Viral Diseases, Respiratory Viruses Branch, Viral Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Branch, and Polio and Picornavirus Laboratory Branch
Dr. Aimee Massey earned her MS in Ecology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and her PhD in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University. Her dissertation was titled “DNA Soup: Utilizing Field Methods, Molecular Methods, and Bioinformatics to Investigate Biodiversity and Disease” where she tied patterns in forest degradation and biodiversity loss to disease risk, using a multifaceted, landscape-scale epidemiology approach. Dr. Massey is assigned to the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Division of Viral Diseases, Respiratory Viruses Branch, Viral Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Branch, and Polio and Picornavirus Laboratory Branch. There she will; use existing data and published literature to calculate the overall U.S. burden of long term COVID-19 outcomes; establish modeling frameworks that are flexible and can be rapidly adapted to monitor varying uses of vaccines to end the COVID-19 pandemic most effectively; and continue preliminary work on spatial regression using surveillance data, independent variable factors, and genetic data associated to Pakistan and Afghanistan wild-type polio cases. Dr. Massey’s goal is to become familiar and proficient with disease transmission models, spatial modeling, machine learning, and big data analysis. She also desires to build her professional network in disease ecology and public health. attain a health service research career where she can use her interdisciplinary expertise in operations research, statistics, and data analytics combined with health policy knowledge to help practitioners in improving the care delivery process as well as improve overall population health.
Jennifer Mendoza-Alonzo, PhD, MSC
Fellowship Assignment: Center of Global Health, Division of Global Health Protection, Office of the Director, Science and Strategic Information Office, Applied Research Team
Dr. Jennifer Mendoza-Alonzo earned her MSc and PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of South Florida. Her desertion was titled “Strategies for Achieving the U.S. Health System’s Quadruple Aim by Enhancing Primary Care” where the research outcomes support the development of public policy to enhance the U.S. health system, reduce disparities, and restore the value for primary care services. Before the fellowship, she was a teaching assistant and a research assistant. Dr. Mendoza-Alonza is assigned to the Center of Global Health, Division of Global Health Protection, Office of the Director, Science and Strategic Information Office, Applied Research Team. There, she will model various outcomes using several different data sources to examine how global health security investments in 27 different countries over the past five years of the GHSA have impacted global health security indicator scores (also known as DGHP’s GHSA indicators and Division-wide indicators) and JEE capacity level scores in eight technical areas. She will also work directly with CDC’s COVID-19 International Task Force. Dr. Mendoza-Alonzo’s goal is to be involved in decisions that impact a more extensive community segment. Since CDC is recognized in promoting health and preventing diseases, the experience acquired at CDC represents a strong endorsement to achieve this goal.
Paige Miller, PhD
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Global migration and Quarantine
Dr. Paige Miller earned her PhD in Disease Ecology from the University of Georgia. Her dissertation was titled “Social Structure, Contact Networks, and Spread of Respiratory Diseases”, where she used network modeling to understand how the organization of human mixing patterns affects the spread of respiratory transmitted infections. She also studied how network structure affects spread of COVID in closed settings and found evidence that interventions significantly mitigated spread in vulnerable populations. Dr. Miller is assigned to the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Global migration and Quarantine. There she will work on; characterizing traveler mobility using SafeGraph data (with DGMQ group); and modeling analysis of test timing and logistics for US-Mexico travelers (with EOC modeling group). In addition, she will contribute to reading and summarizing recent modeling publications whose summaries are distributed to modelers across the agency. Dr. Miller’s long-term goal is to work in public health, using mathematical modeling, data science, and statistics to study infectious diseases and intervention measures.
Sinead Morris, PhD
Fellowship Assignment: Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
Dr. Sinead Morris earned her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a specialty in Infectious Disease Modeling from Princeton University. Her dissertation looked at heterogeneity across scales; “Modeling the Impact of Pathogen and Host Life Histories on the Dynamics of Acute Infections,” in which she showed that integrating heterogeneities within standard models can improve the fundamental understanding of population-level disease dynamics. Before the fellowship, she was a post-doctoral research associate at Columbia University Medical Center performing research in mathematical modeling, immunology, and infectious diseases. Dr. Morris is assigned to the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases where she will be working on projects related to; influenza forecasting using mathematical models, modeling optimal influenza vaccine strategies, identifying and evaluating non-pharmaceutical interventions for influenza. Dr. Morris has volunteered with various community organizations to help explain public health to teens and the general public, and she is eager to start her career in public health research and policy at CDC.
Anna Munsey, PhD, DVM
Fellowship Assignment: Center for Global Health, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Malaria and Entomology Branches
Dr. Anna Munsey earned her DVM in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Wisconsin and her PhD in Comparative and Molecular Biosciences from the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation was titled “Epidemiology of Foot and Mouth Disease Virus in Uganda”, where she identified heterogeneities in risk of FMDV exposure and statistical evidence of long-distance transmission events, and developed novel regression tools to describe areas in which FMDV tends to remain circulating and areas from which FMDV tends to disperse (viral sources). Dr. Munsey is assigned to the Center for Global Health, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Malaria and Entomology Branches. There she will; work in collaboration with the modelling team at the Imperial College, complemented by expertise from the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), to update/re-calibrate a model with both new data and new interventions, and to extrapolate the findings to other PMI countries; use modeling to optimize the collection of vector control data; and model the relationship between malaria prevalence and incidence data to determine whether we can use prevalence data prospectively to accurately estimate malaria transmission. Dr. Munsey’s long-term career objective is to hold a position in the federal government in which I can work to improve the public’s health.
Komal Peer, PhD, MSC
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for Environmental Health, Asthma and Community Health Branch and Emergency Management, Radiation, and Chemical Branch
Dr. Komal Peer earned a MSc in Environmental Health and a PhD in Biostatistics & Epidemiology from Boston University. Her dissertation was titled “Leveraging Big Data to Advance Population Health Practice and Research: Approaches to Enhance Interpretability and Meaningful Use of These Data” where she demonstrated ways to meaningful interpret Big Data sources in a health context. Her work experience includes GIS consultant for Children’s HealthWatch and Program Coordinator for Superfund Research Program. Dr. Peer is assigned to the National Center for Environmental Health, Asthma and Community Health Branch and Emergency Management, Radiation, and Chemical Branch where she will work with the Tracking Program, the Climate and Health Program, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) to explore the use of high-resolution local climate data to understand the short and mid-term spatial and temporal patterns of air temperature and extreme heat days for a representative set of geographic typologies. She will also work with the Division of Environmental Health Science and Practice to identify and evaluate existing unregulated drinking water vulnerability models. Dr. Peer’s career goal is to stay true to her professional mission, conduct applied research that impacts population health, move into the realms of prevention effectiveness, implementation science, and translational research and gain skills and a professional network in these areas, and gain experience conducting applied research within a government agency.
Maile Phillips, PhD, MS
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, Dengue Branch
Dr. Maile Phillips earned her MS in Biostatistics from Harvard University and her PhD in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases from Yale University. Her dissertation focused on cost-effectiveness analyses of interventions for typhoid fever, comparing improved sanitation and vaccination efforts. Dr. Phillips has an excellent understanding and command of both advanced statistical methods for analyzing infectious disease data (particularly Bayesian methods) as well as mathematical modeling and cost-effectiveness analysis. Her work experience includes working at Cigna Insurance Company performing complex data research and analysis with her biggest accomplishment was developing and deploying 25 models that predicted acute healthcare outcomes. Dr. Phillips is assigned to the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, Dengue Branch. There she will work on a variety of projects such as; measuring and assessing the effect of local human mobility on arbovirus infection risk and on the effectiveness of Wolbachia suppression to reduce that risk as well as providing insights on how to address the more general public health problem of predicting and assessing spatiotemporal disease risk. She will also forecast vector-borne diseases, and work on spatial-temporal models of Dengue. Dr. Phillips’ career goal is to improve the quality of people’s lives by improving their health.
Emily Pollock, PhD
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Division of STD Prevention
Dr. Emily Pollack earned her PhD in Biological Anthropology from the University of Washington and a Certificate from the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology in the same institution. Her dissertation was titled “Epidemics as Complex Systems: Demography, Networks, and Treatment of Chlamydia Trachomatis” and focused on applying dynamic network analysis to sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Pollack held fellowships from NIH, NSF, and IPEM/IGERT during graduate school. She also volunteered at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington. Dr. Pollack is assigned to the National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Division of STD Prevention. There she will work on a variety of projects such as; modeling the demographics and population trends in prevalence and incidence of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomoniasis, Syphilis, and Genital Herpes in the United States, modeling the effectiveness of Meningitis B Vaccination for the prevention of Neisseria Gonorrhea, modeling the impact of partner services and enhanced partner services for STI prevention, and modeling the transmission of Neisseria Gonorrhea between multiple anatomical sites and potentially redundant transmission routes. Dr. Pollack’s goals include pursuing a career in applied public health and further developing her analytic skills.
Malavika Rajeev, PhD, MS
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases
Dr. Malavika Rajeev earned her MS in Ecology from the University of Georgia and her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University. Her dissertation is titled “Modeling to Inform the Global Elimination of Canine Rabies,” where she combines field epidemiological studies, routine health and surveillance data, and mathematical and statistical models to answer critical questions about rabies control and surveillance and to develop ‘best-bet’ strategies for elimination. Before the fellowship, she was a Teaching Assistant at Princeton for an Epidemiology undergraduate course. Dr. Rajeev is assigned to the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases where she will help develop a compartmental mathematical model to investigate screening strategies for containing C. auris transmission; help build a first of its kind fungal early warning system to predict Valley fever incidence using the information gathered on temporal and spatial presence of Coccidioides in ambient air, and contribute in predicting the severity of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections. Dr. Rajeev’s career goal is to develop frameworks for integrating transmission models with epidemiological data to understand and combat infectious diseases of public health importance.
Michaela Rikard, PhD
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Overdose Prevention
Dr. Michaela Rikard earned her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia. Her dissertation was titled “Multiscale Modeling Approaches to Design Novel Intervention Strategies for Cardiovascular Disease and Public Health.” In addition to a wealth of volunteer and employment experiences, Dr. Rikard served as a Data Science intern at the University of Virginia and is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, awarded to top STEM graduate students across the country. Dr. Rikard is assigned to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Overdose Prevention. There, she will refine and expand; an agent-based model of opioid use disorder (OUD) and overdose, a systems dynamics simulation model in AnyLogic to better understand and quantify the impact of CDC investment in overdose prevention efforts on overdose deaths averted; and a simulation model of tapering and discontinuation of prescribed opioids using longitudinal pharmaceutical dispensing data from the IQVIA LRx Databases, medical claims data such as IBM MarketScan, and combined claims-EMR data from OptumLabs. Dr. Rikard’s career goal is to pursue her calling to work in public service, solving problems at a systems level while conducting rigorous cost-benefit analyses of proposed policies and programs.
Oscar Rincón-Guevara, PhD
Fellowship Assignment: Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, Division of Health Informatics and Surveillance, Surveillance and Data Branch
Dr. Oscar Rincón-Guevara earned his PhD in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. His dissertation was titled “Value of Personalization: An Integrated Product design and Manufacturing Systems Approach,” where he aims to make affordable personalized production to everyone everywhere. Dr. Rincón-Guevara is assigned to the Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, Division of Health Informatics and Surveillance, Surveillance and Data Branch where he will; Develop analytic approaches to identify anomalies in disease trends when monitoring national syndromic and case-based surveillance data across condition type, geographic region, and patient demographic factors; use existing data sources across systems to evaluate various specificity and sensitivity of syndrome categories developed using NSSP ED data and compare trends across data sources; and further develop process and analytic tools to assist CDC programs with the development, tracking and validation of MMGs to improve efficiency and overall data quality. Dr. Rincón-Guevara’s is very passionate about exploring a career as a researcher.
Brandi Smith, PhD, MA
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Office of Strategy, and Innovation
Dr. Brandi Smith earned her MA in mathematics from Mississippi State University and PhD in Informatics from University of Illinois. During her doctoral training she used advanced data modeling and bias analysis, both necessary concepts involved in decision-making. It is her belief that unbiased data along with correct data models is critical to economic decisions and truthful dissemination of data. Dr. Smith is assigned to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Office of Strategy, and Innovation. There, she will work on a variety of projects such as evaluating the impact of COVID on injury and violence using multiple novel data sources; and developing forecasting models for homicide and firearm violence using state of the art machine learning based approaches, under the mentorship of NCIPC scientists. She will also conduct analysis and evaluation of online data to understand impact of digital influencer and media campaigns to increase awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Dr. Smith’s goal is to become a leading research scientist and use her analytical skills to understand the role of environmental, social/systemic, and health-related factors on disparate health outcomes.
Hasan Symum, PhD, MS
Fellowship Assignment: Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Office of the Director, Program and Performance Improvement Office
Dr. Hasan Symum earned his MS in Industrial Engineering from Florida State University and his PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of South Florida. His dissertation was titled “Data-Informed Decision Support for Improving Pediatric Healthcare Quality Under Medicaid Managed Care Settings,” where his objective was to develop data-informed decision support to assist providers in reducing the risk of readmission, ED visits, and care fragmentations under managed care setting and to enhance understanding of the impact of the implementation of mandatory managed care in reducing persistent racial and rural-urban disparities in pediatric health outcomes. Dr. Symum is assigned to the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Office of the Director, Program and Performance Improvement Office. There he will; explore various program implementation models for integrated routine screening to identify the most effective and cost-effective intervention options for routine screening in clinical settings under a prescribed set of scenarios; and apply machine learning techniques to develop and validate prediction models to identify persons with undiagnosed HIV, HBV, HCV, syphilis and LTBI in clinical settings and measure continuum of care outcomes to inform CDC screening guidelines, and identify opportunities for improved measurement of morbidity and mortality outcomes. Dr. Symum’s goal is to attain a health service research career where he can use his interdisciplinary expertise in operations research, statistics, and data analytics combined with health policy knowledge to help practitioners in improving the care delivery process as well as improve overall population health.
Fatima Melike Yildirim, PhD, MS
Fellowship Assignment: Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Health Quality Research
Dr. Melike Yildirim earned her MS in Healthcare Systems Engineering from Lehigh University and her PhD in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She comes to the fellowship from a post-doctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute for Technology Assessment and Harvard Medical School where she has studied the cost-effectiveness of opioid interventions, decomposition of COVID-19 macro simulation models for pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical interventions, and the optimization of HIV clinics in Africa. Dr. Yildirim’s dissertation research focused on cost-effective management of diseases for the early detection and interventions for improved health outcomes. She is assigned to the Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Health Quality Research and will support Data Innovation Projects including, “Building Synthetic Healthcare Data for Research,” “Physician and Physician Practice Database for Research,” and “Social Determinants of Health Databases for Research.” She will also work on developing predictive analytic models to assess the hospitalizations and resource needs in local communities with given hospital capacities overtime for selected infectious diseases. Dr Yildirim looks forward to applying her passion and drive to public health through the fellowship.
Casey Zipfel, PhD
Fellowship Assignment: National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
Dr. Casey Zipfel earned her PhD in Biology from Georgetown University. Her dissertation was titled “Behavioral Heterogeneity and its Role in Epidemic Modeling and Surveillance.” Before the fellowship, she was a Graduate Research Assistant, designing and conducting independent research integrating mathematical modeling and empirical data to provide novel insights into the mechanisms and impacts of human behavior in infectious disease transmission. Dr. Zipfel is assigned to the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion where she will; model the transmission of Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE); build on previous SARS-CoV-2 analyses to understand how testing strategies in nursing homes may continue to evolve over time as community incidence changes and as vaccine coverage changes; and model MIDRO transmission to incorporate a more robust representation of the community into existing transmission models to help inform the design of surveillance systems and guide prevention strategies. Dr. Zipfel’s career goal is to continue developing her quantitative, leadership, and communication skills, to positively impact public health through scientific research.