Welcome to the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory
The Public Health Dynamics Laboratory (PHDL) is an interdisciplinary activity at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh focused on the development of computational methods to improve the theory and the practice of public health. The PHDL includes over 40 faculty and staff, including epidemiologists, biostatisticians, behavioral scientists, public health policy experts and computational scientists to produce the next generation of analysis tools for the exploration of critical public health problems.
Areas of active research include:
- Infectious disease dynamics
- Spatial epidemiology
- Global open access public health databases
- Vaccine distribution in developing countries
- Public health response to epidemics and other emergencies
- Social networks and effects on obesity, smoking, and other health behaviors
- Dynamics of community violence
The PHDL is on the vanguard of public health research and computational modeling, and takes an active role in the development of open source computational tools for the analysis of public health issues.
PHDL Hosts Modeling Workshop for Indian Health Researchers
In December 2016, the PHDL hosted a one-week workshop titled "Empowering Indian Health Researchers with Computational Modeling Tools". The goal of this Fogarty Institute, NIH funded initiative is to enhance evidence-based, data-driven decision-making in India through innovations in information and communication technology.
Six researchers from India participated in the workshop, a collaboration between SHARE INDIA/MediCiti Institute of Medical Sciences, the Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad, and the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh. The workshop was designed to train Indian health researchers in simulation and modeling for public health decision support. The week focused on hands-on-training in the use and application of FRED (Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics), an open source modeling system, along with other tools developed by the PHDL. On the final day of the workshop, each trainee presented a funding proposal for a research question of interest with research to continue following return to India.
Meet the Newest Members of the PHDL Team
From across the pond, David Sinclair, PhD, has joined the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory (PHDL) at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health as a postdoctoral associate/programmer. David received a Master of Physics from Durham University, UK, and recently completed a PhD in Physics (Astrophysics) at the University of Oxford. His research there focused on simulating and analyzing the performance of a complex radio telescope using algorithm design and large-volume data analysis. He has an extensive computational background, including creating signal processing algorithms for hardware.
Tejaswi Anantaraju, MS, MBA, joins the Project Tycho team at the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Tejaswi received a MS in Information Technologies from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and an MBA from Osmania University in India. He has extensive experience designing and implementing Java based e-Business/e-Commerce applications, including a web service for the Bank of New York Mellon stakeholders, along with a strong business analytics background.
Opioid Epidemic Forecasting
Since 2000, almost half a million Americans have died from drug overdoses. This modern plague—largely driven by opioid addiction—degrades health, saps productivity, spawns crime, and devastates families, all at enormous societal cost. How did we get here, and what do we do now? In the November 4 issue of Science, Dr. Donald Burke, Dean, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, discusses how a coordinated national opioid epidemic modeling program may help to solve this complex problem.
NIH-Fogarty Grants Train Indian Researchers on Modeling
The PHDL is collaborating with SHARE-India and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) Institute of Public Health in Hyderabad to train Indian researchers in simulation and modeling. Funded by the Fogarty Institute, NIH, the goal of the initiative, "Empowering Indian Health Researchers with Computational Modeling Tools," is to enhance evidence-based, data-driven decision-making in India through innovations in information and communication technology. As part of this program, we organized an International Symposium on Health Analytics and Disease Modeling in Hyderabad, India.