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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Columbia Researcher Receives Grant to Study Infectious Diseases Forecasting

Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, Mailman School associate professor of environmental health sciences, received a four-year grant for $2.69 million from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to study “Developing Real-Time Forecasts of Infectious Diseases.”

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[Photo: Dr. Jeffrey Shaman]

Dr. Shaman will be developing model-data assimilation systems that are capable of generating accurate and reliable real-time predictions of the epidemic characteristics of both respiratory and vector-borne diseases. Specifically, he will develop and advance infectious disease forecasting frameworks patterned after the systems used to generate numerical weather predictions. Forecasting systems will then be developed, refined, and validated for influenza, respiratory virus, malaria, West Nile virus, and Dengue.

In October 2014, Dr. Shaman and colleagues created a computer model for tracking and forecasting the growth of Ebola cases in West Africa. Forecasts predicting cumulative infections and deaths six weeks into the future were generated each week and posted online. Earlier in 2014 he launched an award-winningcomputer model that forecasts seasonal influenza and reports weekly predictions for rates of season influenza in 94 U.S. cities.