What attracted you to the health metrics field?
I’ve always been fascinated by human health and driven to answer questions about the factors that influence the health of both individuals and populations. As an undergraduate, I majored in biology and focused particularly on neuroscience laboratory research. After college, I wanted to shift from this molecular-level work to much larger-scale questions about health systems and population health outcomes. As someone who thrives on challenge, I was attracted by the sheer audacity of the questions being asked at IHME and by their importance for global health priority-setting.
What work are you doing at IHME?
I currently work on both the Gavi Full Country Evaluations (FCE) team and the nonfatal outcomes team of the Global Burden of Disease. The goal of the Gavi FCE team is to understand the factors shaping the development and improvement of immunization programs in Bangladesh, Uganda, Zambia, and Mozambique. To this end, I’m using Bangladesh health facility survey data to analyze the supply-side factors underlying vaccine coverage in Bangladesh. I’ve focused particularly on the successes and challenges in the introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate and polio vaccines at these health facilities.
On the Global Burden of Disease nonfatal outcomes team, I’m modeling the prevalence, incidence, and excess mortality associated with the dental oral health conditions as well as the congenital and chromosomal anomalies. For the Global Burden of Disease 2016, I plan to continue modeling this set of causes and further improve our modeling strategies.
How do you think your experience at IHME will contribute to your future work?
The IHME Post-Bachelor Fellowship has provided me with a quantitative skill set for conducting population health and health systems research. I’ve also learned to think critically about how the evidence that informs global health and medical policy is generated and disseminated.
After my time at IHME, I plan to pursue a career as a physician. The skills I’ve gained at IHME will help me to think critically about the factors underlying the health of each of my patients. I’d like to combine patient care with a broader view of population health outcomes, and I hope to work in developing countries helping vulnerable populations gain access to health care.
GBD 2015 DALYs and HALE Collaborators. Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 315 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE), 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet. 2016 Oct 7; 388:1603–1658.
GBD 2015 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet. 2016 Oct 7; 388:1545–1602.