David L. Smith, PhD, is Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. At IHME, Dr. Smith works closely with the local burden of disease team. His interests have expanded to include policy interventions to reduce all causes of mortality in children under 5. A key interest has been to develop analytical tools to compare simple and abstract compartment models to exquisitely detailed individual-based models. Those tools could be used to determine which kinds of models (or modeling processes) tend to produce the most robust policy assessments. This research supports the translation of the output of sophisticated Bayesian geostatistical analysis – particularly the estimates of spatial uncertainty – into usable advice about how, where, and when to distribute interventions.
Dr. Smith studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University with Professor Simon A. Levin before moving into epidemiology and global health. Dr. Smith’s scientific research has been on the ecology, epidemiology, and evolution of infectious diseases. Dr. Smith has published extensively on the epidemiology, dynamics, and control of malaria, influenza, cholera, rabies, Staphylococcus aureus, and nosocomial pathogens; the evolution of resistance to antibiotics in nosocomial pathogens; the evolution of resistance to antimalarial drugs; malaria elimination and eradication; and the bioeconomics of infectious diseases. Dr. Smith was one of the original members of the Malaria Atlas Project, which has published evidence-based global maps of Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax.
IHME was established at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2007. Its mission is to deliver to the world timely, relevant, and scientifically valid evidence to improve health policy and practice.