What attracted you to the health metrics field?
Dating back to my high school days, my initial interest in human health arose from examining how environmental and behavioral factors, such as diet or income level, influenced one’s health in a myriad of ways. I remember reading research articles citing how households with high food insecurity are at greater risk for many diseases, particularly infectious diseases. While reading, though, I noticed that many researchers struggle to adequately measure such a fluid and amorphous issue as food insecurity. Some methods included gathering height and weight measurements while others involved administering subjective household questionnaires on food insecurity, just to name a few. This lack of consistency and reliable measurement methods made me realize the need for consistent metrics and methods to obtain these metrics in not just research on food insecurity, but all related research in global health. In order to improve overall health, it is necessary to understand and quantify the many things that cause illness. Once I happened upon IHME’s vision and mission statement, I was elated to see a research institute doing just that: producing standardized health metrics that can be used to reduce disease burden worldwide.
What work are you doing at IHME?
Very much in line with my initial interests in the global health field, I work on the risk factors team for the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project. The purpose of the risk factors work is to identify and measure all possible factors that reduce health around the world. To accomplish this lofty vision, we compile data on behavioral, environmental, and metabolic risks in an effort to quantify the effect each of these risks has on population-level health. The specific risk factors that I work on are unsafe water, sanitation, and hand-washing practices. My work includes extracting and preparing data, generally from large-scale surveys, on these three risk factors to run models that produce health risk estimate for each individual risk factor. Consistent with the structure of the rest of the GBD project, these estimates are produced at the country level and can be specified by age group or sex.
How do you think your experience at IHME will contribute to your future work?
I arrived at IHME acknowledging the hefty degree of uncertainty in my future and with the intention to dive head first into this fellowship for the next two to three years and see where I resurface. I suspect that I will want to build upon the research skills and connections gained over the next few years to pursue a career focused on improving health by reducing risk factors. That could include becoming a full-time researcher and continuing to work closely with large datasets on the international level or traveling abroad and participating first-hand in primary data collection. Whatever field and career I decide on, I’m confident that the experience and skills gained at IHME will have thoroughly prepared me to take on the challenge.
GBD 2016 Causes of Death Collaborators. Global, regional, and national age-sex specific mortality for 264 causes of death, 1980–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet. 14 Sept 2017: 390;1151–210.
GBD 2016 DALYs and HALE Collaborators. Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 333 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy (HALE) for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet. 14 Sept 2017: 390;1260-344.
GBD 2016 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 328 diseases and injuries for 195 countries, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet. 14 Sept 2017: 390; 1211–59.
GBD 2016 Risk Factors Collaborators. Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 84 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet. 14 Sept 2017: 390;1084-1150.
GBD 2016 SDG Collaborators. Measuring progress and projecting attainment on the basis of past trends of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: an analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet. 12 Sept 2017: 390; 1423–59.
GBD 2015 Eastern Mediterranean Region Collaborators. Danger ahead: the burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors 3 in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1990–2015. International Journal of Public Health. 7 Aug 2017.
GBD 2015 Eastern Mediterranean Region Collaborators. Burden of diarrhea in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1990–2015: findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study. International Journal of Public Health. 7 Aug 2017.
GBD 2015 Eastern Mediterranean Region Collaborators. Burden of lower respiratory infections in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 1990–2015: findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study. International Journal of Public Health. 7 Aug 2017.
GBD 2015 Healthcare Access and Quality Collaborators. Healthcare Access and Quality Index based on mortality from causes amenable to personal healthcare in 195 countries and territories, 1990–2015: a novel analysis from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 study. The Lancet. 2017 May 18.
GBD 2015 Risk Factors Collaborators. Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 79 behavioral, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or clusters of risks, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet. 2016 Oct 7; 388:1659–1724.
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 Mortality and Causes of Death Collaborators. Global, regional, and national life expectancy, all-cause mortality, and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes of death, 1980–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet. 2016 Oct 7; 388:1459–1544.
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.
Lim SS, Allen K, Bhutta ZA, Dandona L, Forouzanfar MH, Fullman N, Gething PW, Goldberg EM, Hay SI, Holmberg M, Kinfu Y, Kutz MJ, Larson HJ, Liang X, Lopez AD, Lozano R, McNellan CR, Mokdad AH, Mooney MD, Naghavi M, Olsen HE, Pigott DM, Salomon JA, Vos T, Wang H, Abajobir AA*, Abate KH*, Abbafati C*, Abbas KM*, Abd-Allah F*, Abdulle AM*, Abraham B*, Abubakar I*, Abu-Raddad LJ*, Abu-Rmeileh NME*, Abyu GY*, Achoki T*, Adebiyi AO*, Adedeji IA*, Afanvi KA*, Afshin A*, Agarwal A*, Agrawal A*, Ahmad Kiadaliri A*, Ahmadieh H*, Ahmed KY*, Akanda AS*, Akinyemi RO*, Akinyemiju TF*, Akseer N*, Al-Aly Z*, Alam K*, Alam U*, Alasfoor D*, AlBuhairan FS*, Aldhahri SF*, Aldridge RW*, Alemu ZA*, Ali R*, Alkerwi A*, Alkhateeb MAB*, Alla F*, Allebeck P*, Allen C*, Al-Raddadi R*, Altirkawi KA*, Alvarez Martin E*, Alvis-Guzman N*, Amare AT*, Amberbir A*, Amegah AK*, Amini H*, Ammar W*, Amrock SM*, Andersen HH*, Anderson BO*, Anderson GM*, Antonio CAT*, Anwari P*, Ärnlöv J*, Artaman A*, Asayesh H*, Asghar RJ*, Atique S*, Avokpaho EFGA*, Awasthi A*, Ayala Quintanilla BP*, Azzopardi P*, Bacha U*, Badawi A*, Balakrishnan K*, Banerjee A*, Barac A*, Barber R*, Barker-Collo SL*, Bärnighausen T*, Barrero LH*, Barrientos-Gutierrez T*, Basu S*, Bayou TA*, Bazargan-Hejazi S*, Beardsley J*, Bedi N*, Beghi E*, Béjot Y*, Bell ML*, Bello AK*, Bennett DA*, Bensenor IM*, Benzian H*, Berhane A*, Bernabé E*, Bernal OA*, Betsu BD*, Beyene AS*, Bhala N*, Bhatt S*, Biadgilign S*, Bienhoff KA*, Bikbov B*, Binagwaho A*, Bisanzio D*, Bjertness E*, Blore J*, Bourne RRA*, Brainin M*, Brauer M*, Brazinova A*, Breitborde NJK*, Broday DM*, Brugha TS*, Buchbinder R*, Butt ZA*, Cahill LE*, Campos-Nonato IR*, Campuzano JC*, Carabin H*, Cárdenas R*, Carrero JJ*, Carter A*, Casey D*, Caso V*, Castañeda-Orjuela CA*, Castillo Rivas J*, Catalá-López F*, Cavalleri F*, Cecílio P*, Chang H*, Chang J*, Charlson FJ*, Che X*, Chen AZ*, Chiang PP*, Chibalabala M*, Chisumpa VH*, Jasmine Choi JJ*, Chowdhury R*, Christensen H*, Ciobanu LG*, Cirillo M*, Coates MM*, Coggeshall M*, Cohen AJ*, Cooke GS*, Cooper C*, Cooper LT*, Cowie BC*, Crump JA*, Damtew SA*, Dandona R*, Dargan PI*, das Neves J*, Davis AC*, Davletov K*, de Castro EF*, De Leo D*, Degenhardt L*, Del Gobbo LC*, Deribe K*, Derrett S*, Des Jarlais DC*, Deshpande A*, deVeber GA*, Dey S*, Dharmaratne SD*, Dhillon PK*, Ding EL*, Dorsey ER*, Doyle KE*, Driscoll TR*, Duan L*, Dubey M*, Duncan BB*, Ebrahimi H*, Endries AY*, Ermakov SP*, Erskine HE*, Eshrati B*, Esteghamati A*, Fahimi S*, Farid TA*, Farinha CSS*, Faro A*, Farvid MS*, Farzadfar F*, Feigin VL*, Felicio MM*, Fereshtehnejad S*, Fernandes JG*, Fernandes JC*, Ferrari AJ*, Fischer F*, Fitchett JRA*, Fitzmaurice C*, Foigt N*, Foreman K*, Fowkes FGR*, Franca EB*, Franklin RC*, Fraser M*, Friedman J*, Frostad J*, Fürst T*, Gabbe B*, Garcia-Basteiro AL*, Gebre T*, Gebrehiwot TT*, Gebremedhin AT*, Gebru AA*, Gessner BD*, Gillum RF*, Ginawi IAM*, Giref AZ*, Giroud M*, Gishu MD*, Godwin W*, Gona P*, Goodridge A*, Gopalani SV*, Gotay CC*, Goto A*, Gouda HN*, Graetz N*, Greenwell KF*, Griswold M*, Guo Y*, Gupta R*, Gupta R*, Gupta V*, Gutiérrez RA*, Gyawali B*, Haagsma JA*, Haakenstad A*, Hafezi-Nejad N*, Haile D*, Hailu GB*, Halasa YA*, Hamadeh RR*, Hamidi S*, Hammami M*, Hankey GJ*, Harb HL*, Haro JM*, Hassanvand MS*, Havmoeller R*, Heredia-Pi* IB, Hoek HW*, Horino M*, Horita N*, Hosgood HD*, Hoy DG*, Htet AS*, Hu G*, Huang H*, Iburg KM*, Idrisov BT*, Inoue M*, Islami F*, Jacobs TA*, Jacobsen KH*, Jahanmehr M*, Jakovljevic MB*, James P*, Jansen HAFM*, Javanbakht M*, Jayatilleke AU*, Jee SH*, Jeemon P*, Jha V*, Jiang Y*, Jibat T*, Jin Y*, Jonas JB*, Kabir Z*, Kalkonde Y*, Kamal R*, Kan H*, Kandel A*, Karch A*, Karema CK*, Karimkhani C*, Karunapema P*, Kasaeian A*, Kassebaum NJ*, Kaul A*, Kawakami N*, Kayibanda JF*, Keiyoro PN*, Kemmer L*, Kemp AH*, Kengne AP*, Keren A*, Kesavachandran CN*, Khader YS*, Khan AR*, Khan EA*, Khan G*, Khang YH*, Khoja TAM*, Khosravi A*, Khubchandani J*, Kieling C*, Kim C*, Kim D*, Kim S*, Kim YJ*, Kimokoti RW*, Kissoon N*, Kivipelto M*, Knibbs LD*, Kokubo Y*, Kolte D*, Kosen S*, Kotsakis GA*, Koul PA*, Koyanagi A*, Kravchenko M*, Krueger H*, Kuate Defo B*, Kuchenbecker RS*, Kuipers EJ*, Kulikoff XR*, Kulkarni VS*, Kumar GA*, Kwan GF*, Kyu HH*, Lal A*, Lal DK*, Lalloo R*, Lam H*, Lan Q*, Langan SM*, Larsson A*, Laryea DO*, Latif AA*, Leasher JL*, Leigh J*, Leinsalu M*, Leung J*, Leung R*, Levi M*, Li Y*, Li Y*, Lind M*, Linn S*, Lipshultz SE*, Liu PY*, Liu S*, Liu Y*, Lloyd BK*, Lo L*, Logroscino G*, Lotufo PA*, Lucas RM*, Lunevicius R*, Magdy Abd El Razek M*, Magis-Rodriguez C*, Mahdavi M*, Majdan M*, Majeed A*, Malekzadeh R*, Malta DC*, Mapoma CC*, Margolis DJ*, Martin RV*, Martinez-Raga J*, Masiye F*, Mason-Jones AJ*, Massano J*, Matzopoulos R*, Mayosi BM*, McGrath JJ*, McKee M*, Meaney PA*, Mehari A*, Mekonnen AB*, Melaku YA*, Memiah P*, Memish ZA*, Mendoza W*, Mensink GBM*, Meretoja A*, Meretoja TJ*, Mesfin YM*, Mhimbira FA*, Micha R*, Miller TR*, Mills EJ*, Mirarefin M*, Misganaw A*, Mitchell PB*, Mock CN*, Mohammadi A*, Mohammed S*, Monasta L*, Monis JD*, Montañez Hernandez JC*, Montico M*, Moradi-Lakeh M*, Morawska L*, Mori R*, Mueller UO*, Murdoch ME*, Murimira B*, Murray J*, Murthy GVS*, Murthy S*, Musa KI*, Nachega JB*, Nagel G*, Naidoo KS*, Naldi L*, Nangia V*, Neal B*, Nejjari C*, Newton CR*, Newton JN*, Ngalesoni FN*, Nguhiu P*, Nguyen G*, Nguyen QL*, Nisar MI*, Nkamedjie Pete PM*, Nolte S*, Nomura M*, Norheim OF*, Norrving B*, Obermeyer CM*, Ogbo FA*, Oh I*, Oladimeji O*, Olivares PR*, Olusanya BO*, Olusanya JO*, Opio JN*, Oren E*, Ortiz A*, Osborne RH*, Ota E*, Owolabi MO*, Mahesh PA*, Park E*, Park H*, Parry CD*, Parsaeian M*, Patel T*, Patel V*, Paternina Caicedo AJ*, Patil ST*, Patten SB*, Patton GC*, Paudel D*, Pedro JM*, Pereira DM*, Perico N*, Pesudovs K*, Petzold M*, Phillips MR*, Piel FB*, Pillay JD*, Pinho C*, Pishgar F*, Polinder S*, Poulton RG*, Pourmalek F*, Qorbani M*, Rabiee RHS*, Radfar A*, Rahimi-Movaghar V*, Rahman M*, Ur Rahman MH*, Ur Rahman S*, Rai RK*, Rajsic S*, Raju M*, Ram U*, Rana SM*, Ranabhat CL*, Ranganathan K*, Rao PC*, Refaat AH*, Reitsma MB*, Remuzzi G*, Resnikoff S*, Ribeiro AL*, Rios Blancas MJ*, Roba HS*, Roberts B*, Rodriguez A*, Rojas-Rueda D*, Ronfani L*, Roshandel G*, Roth GA*, Rothenbacher D*, Roy A*, Roy N*, Sackey BB*, Sagar R*, Saleh MM*, Sanabria JR*, Santomauro DF*, Santos IS*, Sarmiento-Suarez R*, Sartorius B*, Satpathy M*, Savic M*, Sawhney M*, Sawyer SM*, Schmidhuber J*, Schmidt MI*, Schneider IJC*, Schutte AE*, Schwebel DC*, Seedat S*, Sepanlou SG*, Servan-Mori EE*, Shackelford K*, Shaheen A*, Shaikh MA*, Shamah Levy T*, Sharma R*, She J*, Sheikhbahaei S*, Shen J*, Sheth KN*, Shey M*, Shi P*, Shibuya K*, Shigematsu M*, Shin M*, Shiri R*, Shishani K*, Shiue I*, Sigfusdottir ID*, Silpakit N*, Silva DAS*, Silverberg JI*, Simard EP*, Sindi S*, Singh A*, Singh GM*, Singh JA*, Singh OP*, Singh PK*, Skirbekk V*, Sligar A*, Soneji S*, Søreide K*, Sorensen RJD*, Soriano JB*, Soshnikov S*, Sposato LA*, Sreeramareddy CT*, Stahl H*, Stanaway JD*, Stathopoulou V*, Steckling N*, Steel N*, Stein DJ*, Steiner C*, Stöckl H*, Stranges S*, Strong M*, Sun J*, Sunguya BF*, Sur P*, Swaminathan S*, Sykes BL*, Szoeke CEI*, Tabarés-Seisdedos R*, Tabb KM*, Talongwa RT*, Tarawneh MR*, Tavakkoli M*, Taye B*, Taylor HR*, Tedla BA*, Tefera W*, Tegegne TK*, Tekle DY*, Shifa GT*, Terkawi AS*, Tessema GA*, Thakur JS*, Thomson AJ*, Thorne-Lyman AL*, Thrift AG*, Thurston GD*, Tillmann T*, Tobe-Gai R*, Tonelli M*, Topor-Madry R*, Topouzis F*, Tran BX*, Tsala Dimbuene Z*, Tura AK*, Tuzcu EM*, Tyrovolas S*, Ukwaja KN*, Undurraga EA*, Uneke CJ*, Uthman OA*, van Donkelaar A*, Varakin YY*, Vasankari T*, Vasconcelos AMN*, Veerman JL*, Venketasubramanian N*, Verma RK*, Violante FS*, Vlassov VV*, Volkow P*, Vollset SE*, Wagner GR*, Wallin MT*, Wang L*, Wanga V*, Watkins DA*, Weichenthal S*, Weiderpass E*, Weintraub RG*, Weiss DJ*, Werdecker A*, Westerman R*, Whiteford HA*, Wilkinson JD*, Wiysonge CS*, Wolfe CDA*, Wolfe I*, Won S*, Woolf AD*, Workie SB*, Wubshet M*, Xu G*, Yadav AK*, Yakob B*, Yalew AZ*, Yan LL*, Yano Y*, Yaseri M*, Ye P*, Yip P*, Yonemoto N*, Yoon S*, Younis MZ*, Yu C*, Zaidi Z*, Zaki MES*, Zambrana-Torrelio C*, Zapata T*, Zegeye EA*, Zhao Y*, Zhou M*, Zodpey S*, Zonies D*, Murray CJL†. Measuring the health-related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 countries: a baseline analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015. The Lancet. 2016 Sep 21. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31467-2.
*Authors listed alphabetically