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Research & Ongoing Projects

I've been privileged enough to work on a diversity of different things (and with a wide range of incredible people) during my time as a researcher. Below are some of the research directions I'm currently pursuing and some of the work we've (emphasis on the "we"; science is a team sport) published! 


Epidemiology and Transmission Dynamics of Pathogens With Pandemic Potential

My main research focus centres around real-time outbreak response, and the epidemiological characterisation of (typically viral) emerging biological threats during acute public health emergencies. To date, much of this work has been on SARS-CoV-2, where my research has ranged from describing initial patterns of severity and its implications for healthcare availability, through to characterisation of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Much of this work is in collaboration with Dr Nuno Faria, Professor Samir Bhatt, Dr Swapnil Mishra, Dr Seth Flaxman, Dr Oliver Ratmann and the rest of the team at the Machine Learning & Global Health Network. 

Read More: 

  • Genomics and epidemiology of the P. 1 SARS-CoV-2 lineage in Manaus, Brazil. (Science, 2021)

  • SARS-CoV-2 B. 1.617. 2 Delta variant replication and immune evasion. (Nature, 2021)

  • Genomic characterization and epidemiology of an emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant in Delhi, India (Science, 2021)

  • The impact of COVID-19 and strategies for mitigation and suppression in low-and middle-income countries (Science, 2020)

  • Estimating the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in Europe (Nature, 2020)

  • Estimates of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019: a model-based analysis (Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2020)

Surveillance Systems and Outbreak Response

When you don't count people (cases, or deaths) accurately, you can't respond effectively (and equitably) to public health emergencies. My work focuses on understanding how undercounting of infectious disease burden impedes our ability to identify and control infectious disease outbreaks, develops tools to accurately enumerate in places that lack the capacity; and uses these tools to advocate for a more timely, just and equitable response to public health emergencies. Much of this work is led by, and borne out of collaboration with the incredible Dr OJ Watson (based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). 

Read More: 

  • Under-reporting of deaths limits our understanding of true burden of covid-19 (BMJ, 2021)

  • Leveraging community mortality indicators to infer COVID-19 mortality and transmission dynamics in Damascus, Syria (Nature Communications, 2021)

  • Using syndromic measures of mortality to capture the dynamics of COVID-19 in Java, Indonesia, in the context of vaccination rollout (BMC Medicine, 2021)

  • Global disparities in SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance (Preprint, 2021)

I also work with the folks at the Nucleic Acid Observatory helping support the design of pathogen-agnostic surveillance systems for rapid identification, characterisation and containment of emerging biological threats. Much of this work is done by the excellent Janvi Ahuja, a DPhil student based at the University of Oxford who I supervise.  

andra figure bmc med.JPG

Health Systems Inequity & Outbreak Impact

From vaccines to ventilators, ​access to and availability of healthcare (conceived in the broadest possible manner) is inequitably distributed globally. This injustice has material consequences for the spread and burden of infectious diseases, and part of my research centres around trying to understand how these factors shape the impact of infectious disease outbreaks. Much of this work is in collaboration with Dr Patrick Walker, Professor Azra Ghani, Dr OJ Watson, Professor Tim Hallett and many others at Imperial College London.

Read More: 

  • Spatial and temporal fluctuations in COVID-19 fatality rates in Brazilian hospitals (Nature Medicine, 2022) 

  • Within-country age-based prioritisation, global allocation, and public health impact of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: A mathematical modelling analysis (Vaccine, 2021)

  • Understanding the potential impact of different drug properties on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission and disease burden: a modelling analysis (Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2021)

  • The impact of COVID-19 and strategies for mitigation and suppression in low-and middle-income countries (Science, 2020)

Epidemiology and Control of Vector-Borne Diseases 

Across my Master's and PhD, I worked on characterising the dynamics of vector-borne diseases including loiasis and malaria, both of which I still maintain an active research interest in. Current projects include generating estimates of the global burden of loiasis (with Cedric Chesnais, Sebastien Pion and Michel Boussinseq at IRD Montpellier, Maria-Glora Basanez at Imperial College and Martin Walker at the Royal Veterinary College), characterising the seasonality of malaria across a range of locations in sub-Saharan Africa (with Lucy Okell, Patrick Walker and Gina Cuomo-Dannenburg at Imperial College London), and work on the dynamics or various arboviruses (with Nuno Faria and Ester Sabino at USP).  

Read More: 

  • A novel statistical framework for exploring the population dynamics and seasonality of mosquito populations (Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2022)

  • Global patterns of submicroscopic Plasmodium falciparum malaria infection: insights from a systematic review and meta-analysis of population surveys (The Lancet Microbe, 2021)

  • Atypical clinical manifestations of loiasis and their relevance for endemic populations (Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 2019)

  • The population biology and transmission dynamics of Loa loa (Trends In Parasitology, 2018)

lancet microbe figure.jpg
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