A research article led by Dr. Sen Pei, postdoctoral scientist, and Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, associate professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health will receive the 2019 First Prize for Outstanding Research Article from the International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS) in the category for Scientific Achievement. Members of the ISDS Literature Review Sub-Committee developed the award to recognize disease surveillance scientists for contributions to their fields of research. Drs. Pei and Shaman and co-authors Sasikiran Kandula, and Wan Yang at Columbia Mailman School’s department of environmental health sciences, were honored for the paper “Forecasting the Spatial Transmission of Influenza in the United States” which developed a system to accurately predict the geographic spread of seasonal influenza in the United States. The researchers are using the system in their online forecasts for the 2018-19 flu season.
Pei is an applied mathematician who studies complex network systems. He develops novel computational methods, which combine mathematical and statistical approaches, to study, simulate and forecast the spread of information and disease.
Dr. Shaman directs the School’s Climate and Health Program, the first academic program of its kind in the country. His research includes climate, atmospheric science and biology; in particular, he investigates how hydrologic variability affects mosquito ecology and mosquito-borne disease transmission, how atmospheric conditions impact the survival, transmission and seasonality of pathogens, and, how meteorology affects human health, in general. He also is engaged in developing mathematical and statistical systems for generating forecasts of infectious disease outbreaks at a range of time scales.
The Award will be presented during a ceremony at the 2019 ISDS Conference in San Diego on January 31, 2019.