Postdoctoral Research Scientist – Behavior-epidemiological disease transmission modeling
Location: Bellevue, WA, USA
Date Published: August 1, 2018
The Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) team is composed of research scientists and software professionals who focus on creating powerful and innovative disease modeling and data analysis tools to help researchers and policy makers understand diseases, their causes, the way they spread, and the best types of interventions to use for the particular situation faced. IDM partners with selected universities, NGOs, government ministries, and other research and public health institutions focused on researching new ways to understand and combat diseases both locally and globally. The IDM team develops computational tools to inform global disease eradication policy, conducts innovative analyses of epidemiologically- and policy-relevant data (programmatic data, financial data, clinical trials data, and cluster surveys data), and identifies epidemiologically critical knowledge gaps. As part of our work, we routinely collaborate with groups at the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control, PATH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ministries of health in the developing world, as well as universities and research institutes.
We seek a two year (with option for extending to third year) full-time Postdoctoral Research Scientist to work as part of the IDM research team and collaborate on the development, refinement, and utilization of infectious disease and behavior-change models for epidemiological research, with a focus on understanding how disease affects human behavior and vice versa. Mathematical models of disease transmission typically do not incorporate how individuals may change their behaviors (eg, hand washing/personal hygiene, healthcare seeking, vaccination) in the face of common diseases and novel emerging pathogens.
As a member of the Epidemiology group, this postdoctoral fellow will develop new behavior-epidemiological models and apply them to a wide array of diseases, potentially including: RSV, influenza, pneumococcus, and Ebola virus disease. The researcher will design, configure, calibrate, and exercise models to answer questions about the roles of population and individual-level behavior change, informing effective public health campaigns for outbreak containment, guiding the progression of global vaccination policy in general, and improving the state of the art in behavioral modeling. The research, models, and results will be presented by the researcher to key stakeholders and at conferences and published in academic journals.
- Analysis of the literature on epidemiological models incorporating human behavior
- Review scientific literature and determine which aspects of biology, demography, economics, and geography are relevant to the model.
- Write software to implement mechanistic and statistical behavior-epidemiological models and calibrate them to transmission data
- Work closely with the modelers, programmers, and statisticians on the team to use models to conduct sensitivity analyses, explore tradeoffs among possible interventions, and optimize global health strategies.
- Communicate research through publications, conference and stakeholder presentations, and collaborations with external partners.
Qualifications and Skills
- Ph.D. in a quantitative field (e.g. Physics, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, Epidemiology, Quantitative Biology)
- Expertise in statistics, numerical analysis, dynamical systems, stochastic processes, and statistical inference.
- Prior work with stochastic dynamical modeling and model calibration preferred. Disease transmission modeling experience an asset, but not required.
- Ability to read and write research articles in public health, biology/ecology, and applied mathematics.
- Strong proficiency in R or python. C/C++/Java experience an asset, but not required.
- Multiple published articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. List of articles on CV to be submitted with application.
We are an equal opportunity employer