IHME faculty and staff travel as far as Melbourne and Barcelona to share research findings and data visualizations and join the conversation about what’s next in global health.
Affiliate Professor Alan Lopez wins health research award
Alan Lopez, IHME Affiliate Professor, Melbourne Laureate Professor, and Director of the Global Burden of Disease Group at the University of Melbourne, has received the prestigious Peter Wills Medal at the Research Australia Awards. These awards recognize individuals who have contributed to the health and medical research sector in Australia.
GBD data inspire Financial Times infographic
The Financial Times tapped into IHME burden of disease data to produce an inventive infographic showing the top five causes of death by country in emerging markets across the world.
Colombia’s data-driven fight against crime
New York Times journalist Tina Rosenberg featured Roux Prize winner Dr. Rodrigo Guerrero in the “Opinionator” column in November. Rosenberg shows how Dr. Guerrero, as mayor of Cali, Colombia, used data to discern and reduce risk factors that contributed to violence in his city and how his success has inspired other cities and countries in Latin America to adopt similar policies
What’s next for the science of global health?
IHME Director Christopher Murray took part in the panel discussion “Understanding and measuring what works” during the symposium “The Science of Global Health: What’s Next,” hosted by the University of California, San Francisco, in October. The panelists discussed new findings from the Global Burden of Disease and implications for academic global health researchers, clinical caregivers, policymakers, and donors.
Trending at the James Beard Foundation Food Conference
IHME Director Christopher Murray gave the talk “Trends and snapshots: the epidemiology of health” in the opening session of this year’s James Beard Foundation Food Conference in October. Exploring the theme “Health & food: is better food the prescription for a healthier America?” the event examined the interactions between what we eat and our individual and public health. “Diet in the United States, and in many countries of the world is the leading risk factor in terms of health,” Dr. Murray noted, “accounting for nearly 20% of premature mortality.” To view a webcast of the event, click here.
Strategizing for improved epidemiology
IHME Director Christopher Murray, Associate Professor Mohsen Naghavi, and Project Officer Meghan Mooney attended the 14th National Exhibition of Successful Experiments in Epidemiology, Disease Control, and Prevention in October. Organized by the Secretariat of Health Surveillance of the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the conference, held in Brasilia, brought together policymakers, researchers, and health professionals to share their findings and devise new ways to implement strategies.
New findings presented at tropical medicine meeting
Work from IHME researchers was featured at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s (ASTMH) 63rd Annual Meeting in New Orleans in November. The ASTMH conference brings together thousands of experts in tropical medicine, infectious diseases, and broader global health topics from all over the world. At this year’s meeting, Policy Translation Specialist Nancy Fullman presented findings from two IHME work streams: assessing the impact of malaria control programs in Zambia and tracking trends in development assistance for tropical diseases. Acting Assistant Professor Jeff Stanaway spoke on the global burden of typhoid fever as part of the session “Typhoid fever: the accelerated agenda to deliver conjugate vaccines,” sharing findings from the Global Burden of Disease 2013 study.
Translating math into public health data
Assistant Professor Abraham Flaxman was hailed in OZY as “The Nate Silver of Public Health” for developing software that cleans up “sloppy data,” enabling researchers to better understand disease trends. In addition to the DisMod-MR program (named for disease modeling), Dr. Flaxman, a mathematician by training, is also at work on a program to help determine causes of death in regions where data are sparse.
Pushing the pace at World Pneumonia Day
Acting Assistant Professor Joseph Dieleman presented on the health funding landscape for pneumonia at a World Pneumonia Day event hosted by PATH at its Seattle headquarters. Dr. Dieleman joined a panel of global health leaders from PATH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who provided insights into the global burden of childhood pneumonia and ways to effectively address the deadly disease.
World Pneumonia Day occurs every November 12, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the global toll of pneumonia and catalyzing greater action to fight one of the leading killers of children worldwide. In conjunction with this event, IHME published the report Pushing the Pace: Progress and Challenges in Fighting Childhood Pneumonia, a collaboration with the MDG Health Alliance. The report notes that in 2013, a child died from pneumonia every 35 seconds.
Health data for the common good
Peter Speyer, IHME’s Data and Technology Officer, spoke at the meeting “Health Data for the Common Good,” which focused on making data accessible, usable, and actionable, in November. His talk introduced Global Burden of Disease concepts and data inputs and examined ways of communicating with audiences who have differing levels of expertise and data skills.
Making data work
An increasing volume of data, from scientific research to pop culture, is being presented online through interactive graphics. These tools empower general audiences to explore data with a granularity that was previously unavailable, but with variable success. The value of powerful visualization tools is lost when audiences are overwhelmed by a confusing graphical interface, even if the display is technically appropriate. As datasets become larger and require more powerful data visualizations, it is crucial that audiences are intrigued (not intimidated) by interactive visualizations.
IHME’s Michael Freeman presented the talk “From confusing to convincing: a framework for using animation and storytelling to bolster the effectiveness of interactive visualizations” at the Strata+Hadoop conference in Barcelona in November. A Data Visualization Specialist, Freeman shared a framework and specific techniques for using animation and storytelling to introduce complex visual systems to broad audiences.
Striving to reduce the burden of cancer
Tina Fitzmaurice, Visiting Fellow at IHME and Hematology/Oncology Fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, presented the abstract “Global Mortality Trends in Hepatitis-B-induced Liver Cancer” at the World Cancer Congress in Melbourne, Australia, in December. Presented biennially by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), this conference gathers cancer experts and global health leaders to find solutions to reduce the burden of cancer worldwide. Dr. Fitzmaurice participated in the panel “Innovation for Action on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs): How Data and Technology Can Help the Developing World,” as part of the NCD Café, jointly organized by members of the NCD Alliance.
The emerging global health crisis of non-communicable diseases
Acting Assistant Professor Joseph Dieleman and Post-Bachelor Fellow Tara Templin, who conducted some of the core analysis for the report “The Emerging Global Health Crisis: Non-communicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries,” attended the report’s December launch at the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) headquarters in New York. Prepared by the CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force on the Emerging Global Health Crisis of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs), of which IHME Director Christopher Murray is a member, the report assesses the rise of NCDs in developing countries and recommends a strategy for addressing that challenge.
Universal Health Coverage: challenges and opportunities
Cristian Baeza, IHME’s Director for Health Systems Solutions, spoke at Encuentro Nacional de la Salud on “Universal health coverage: challenges and opportunities.” The former CEO of the Chilean National Health Insurance Fund (FONASA), Dr. Baeza shared his perspectives on Chile’s experience implementing a national health insurance system.
Reflecting on the data effect
Director of Communications William Heisel spoke in December at “Data Effects,” staged in Vancouver, British Columbia, by CityAge, which presents international events attracting business, government, and societal leaders.