About Me

I am an Assistant Professor in Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. I study transmission dynamics of infectious diseases. Within this broad topic, I develop mathematical models and computational tools to advance surveillance, forecasting, and control of both seasonal and emerging infectious agents. Using dynamical and statistical modeling techniques, I work to better understand the environmental, social, and ecological drivers of disease transmission. My recent studies focus on the spatial spread of influenza, dengue, and COVID-19, as well as the transmission of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens in healthcare systems.

Job opportunity

    We are hiring up to three postdoctoral research scientists for work on infectious disease modeling with Drs. Jeffrey Shaman and Sen Pei at Columbia University. Successful candidates will support multiple projects investigating nonlinear error growth in infectious disease systems and developing model-inference frameworks for simulation of infectious agents, inference of critical epidemiological characteristics, counterfactual simulations, and projections and forecasting. The postdoctoral scientists will join a dynamic team of computational biologists, epidemiologists, and mathematicians studying a range of infectious diseases, including influenza, COVID-19, malaria, dengue and anti-microbial resistant organisms. The expected duration of each postdoctoral position is 2 years.

    Candidates applying for these positions must have or be near completion of a doctoral degree in Computational Biology, Mathematics, Statistics, Epidemiology or a related discipline. Persons with a strong background and interest in Bayesian statistics, mathematical modeling and/or infectious disease dynamics are encouraged to apply. Experience programming in languages such as Matlab, R, or Python is required.

    To apply, please go to the recruiting website. Positions open until filled.

Latest News

  • 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 by 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, (2) a mapping tool that charts county-level projections, and (3) animated maps.
  • 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.