Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) comprise many of the most important emerging pathogens due to their geographic expansion and their increasing impact on vulnerable populations. In 2015, Zika virus (ZIKV) became the newest emerging public health threat to Latin America, with more than 14,000 cases in Salvador, Brazil, and accruing substantial evidence of resultant Guillain-Barré and microcephaly.
Project Complex Data and Deep Learning for Disease Outbreak Prediction, Stanford (1/1/2017 - 1/1/2018)
Disease outbreaks are not easily predicted because they occur only when multiple factors trigger the rapid spread of disease. Key factors can often be identified, e.g., excess rainfall leading to outbreaks of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV)1,2, but the complex circumstances that lead to outbreaks remain elusive for several reasons. First, gathering varied datasets (climatic, genetics, demographic, historical, and behavioral) is time consuming and expensive.
Project Characterizing the Effects of Antenatal Parasitic Infection on Fetal Immune System Development, Stanford University, Case Western Reserve University, Ministry of Health- Kenya (1/1/2016 - 1/1/2017)
Extensive resources are being committed to improve global childhood vaccination coverage, but the response to standard vaccination is often diminished in children from developing nations. The ineffectiveness of vaccination programs in developing communities has been blamed on cold chain lapses and lack of supportable infrastructure, but chronic infections also play a significant role. Multiple maternal parasitic infections affect the unborn infant and are potentially important vaccine response modifiers, but have not been well studied.
Project Neurodevelopment and Vector-borne Diseases: Building Research Capacity in the Tropics, Stanford (September 1, 2016 - 8/31/2018)
Vector-borne diseases (VBD) pose a significant economic and public health threat throughout developing
tropical regions worldwide, including the Caribbean. The introduction in December 2013 and rapid spread of
the chikungunya virus (CHIKV) throughout all the Caribbean nations, and more recently the emergence of the
zika virus in Suriname and Martinique highlights the need to develop regional capacity to investigate, predict,
contain, and respond to VBD.
Project Grave Reform in Modern China
The Deathscape China project is building and harnessing an interactive spatial and textual analysis platform to examine the phenomenon of grave relocation in modern China, a campaign that has led to the exhumation and reburial of 10 million corpses in the past decade alone, and has transformed China’s graveyards into sites of acute personal, social, political, and economic contestation.