Based within the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, our group studies the environmental, social, and ecological determinants of infectious diseases using mathematical and statistical techniques. We develop mathematical models and computational tools to advance surveillance, forecasting, and control of both seasonal and emerging infectious agents, with a focus on respiratory viruses and antimicrobial-resistant pathogens.

Latest News

  • 05/01/2023 I visit the Vermont Complex Systems Center at University of Vermont.
  • 04/24/2023 I attend the "Human Behavior and Disease Dynamics" workshop hosted by the Brin Mathematics Research Center, University of Maryland.
  • 03/01/2023 Welcome Dr. Qing Yao joining our group as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist!
  • 01/04/2023 Our pilot project "Impact of Climate Variability on Foreign Animal Disease: Forecasting Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza" is funded by Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) and USDA in the second year of the Scialog: Mitigating Zoonotic Threats initiative.
  • 10/23/2022 Our study on contact tracing in New York City is published online in Nature Communications . In this study, we analyzed contact tracing records for ~650,000 suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York City during the second epidemic wave. We reconstructed transmission networks and found that vaccination and zone-based control policies likely contributed to control of the epidemic. This study was featured in the Editors' Highlights Public Health section.
  • 08/15/2022 Our project on behavior-driven disease forecasting is funded by NSF (co-funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics). We will infuse behavior data into epi models and develop predictive tools for operational use in NYC.
  • 05/10/2022 I will serve as the Associate Editors for Microbiology Spectrum published by the American Society for Microbiology and Frontiers in Physics published by Frontiers.
  • 03/31/2022 Our study on hurricane evacuation and COVID-19 published in GeoHealth in 2020 is selected as a top cited article of the journal.
  • 09/22/2021 New study quantifying the impact of COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical interventions on influenza transmission in the United States is published online in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. The study is featured on the cover of the journal.
  • 09/09/2021 Our study on MRSA transmission is highlighted by Nature's Research Highlight.
  • 09/07/2021 We developed a computational method to identify asymptomatic spreaders of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens in hospital settings and applied it to a network of healthcare facilities in Sweden. Check out the paper published in PNAS.
  • 09/07/2021 Our paper on the burden and characteristics of COVID-19 in the US is highlighted in the NIH Director's Blog.
  • 08/26/2021 Our study on the overall burden and characteristics of COVID-19 in the United States during 2020 is published online in Nature.
  • 06/14/2021 Our collaborative study with colleagues at Yale on the role of meteorological factors in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is published in Nature Communications.
  • 04/01/2021 I will join the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University as a tenure-track assistant professor in fall 2021.
  • 02/09/2021 Our early work on undetected infections of SARS-CoV-2 is selected as one of the seven finalists of the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize.
  • 01/29/2021 Our letter to editor "Social distancing remains key during vaccinations" is published online in Science.
  • 01/11/2021 New paper out in Nature Communications. Lack of a widespread surveillance network hampers accurate infectious disease forecasting. Here we provide a framework to optimize the selection of surveillance site locations and show that accurate forecasting of respiratory diseases for locations without surveillance is feasible.
  • 01/04/2021 Our paper "Multiscale mobility explains differential associations between the gross domestic product and COVID-19 transmission in Chinese cities" is published in Journal of Travel Medicine. In this letter, we find a Simpson’s paradox in the association between GDP and COVID-19 transmission in Chinese cities stratified by location. The differential associations in cities within and outside Hubei province can be explained by different patterns of short-range and long-range multiscale mobility from Wuhan to other cities.
  • 11/06/2020 Our study exploring the effect of non-pharmaceutical intervention on COVID-19 transmission in the US appears in Science Advances.
  • 08/28/2020 Our work on information diffusion "Realistic modelling of information spread using peer-to-peer diffusion patterns" is published online in Nature Human Behaviour. In this work, we develop a more realistic information cascade model that reproduces key structures of real-world diffusion trees in distinct social platforms by combining a peer-to-peer diffusion pattern with a correction for observational bias.
  • 04/23/2020 Together with colleagues at Mailman, we have developed three online tools to allow users to visualze the updated weekly projections of new COVID-19 cases, new infections, and available critical care beds in states and counties across the United States under a variety of social distancing and hospital response scenarios over a six-week period: (1) a data visualization tool that graph projections over time, and (2) a mapping tool that charts county-level projections.
  • 03/20/2020 The New York Times publishes an article "Without Urgent Action, Coronavirus Could Overwhelm U.S., Estimates Say" reporting our model projections of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US. Our results indicate that stringent control measures are required to reduce massive infections and flatten the epidemic curve.
  • 03/16/2020 Our research on the transmission dynamics of COVID-19 reveals that substantial undocumented infection fuels rapid spread of coronavirus in China. This study is published online in Science on March 16.