Jaime Benavides, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Jaime completed his PhD in environmental engineering at Polytechnic University of Catalonia in the department of Earth Sciences at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. His doctoral research focused on the development and application of a street-level air quality model for Barcelona, Spain. His primary research interests are in understanding the link between environmental exposures and human health in urban settings. At Columbia, he is applying novel methods to find patterns in urban environmental exposure mixtures aiming to investigate the impact of these patterns on adverse health outcomes. He is also involved in improving air pollution exposure assessment for large-scale population-wide epidemiologic studies.

Jaime Cascante Vega

Staff Associate

Jaime is Colombian and received his MSc and BSc from the Biomedical Engineering Department from Universidad de los Andes. His research interests lie in the intersection with mathematical modelling as a tool for understanding complex ecological and epidemiological phenomena and deep learning and statistical techniques as a tool for extracting hierarchical features of different data-sources and infer key parameters of the models. His previous research focused on developing mathematical models to forecast community spread and mortality of SARS-CoV2. He has also worked on developing theoretical models to include mechanisms behind the role of behaviour in traditional epidemiological models. At Columbia University, he is working on understanding the time-space spread on antimicrobial resistant (AR) pathogens, specifically of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) using mathematical models combined with inference to better prevent, control, and forecast this healthcare associated infections (HAIs). He will also help in the simulation and forecast of the spread of SARS-CoV2 at population scales.

Marta Galanti, PhD

Associate Research Scientist

Marta Galanti completed her PhD research in Complex Systems and Mathematical Physics in a shared program between University of Florence (Italy) and University of Orléans (France). Her previous research focused on the analysis of diffusion-reaction processes in biological and industrial media in non-ideal conditions (complex geometries and crowded environments). At Columbia, she is working on developing mathematical models to generate predictions and advance the understanding and forecast of infections.  One of the goal of her research will be to study respiratory virus transmission with the aim of incorporating antigenic information of rapidly evolving viruses into real-time forecasts of influenza.

Roselyn Kaondera-Shava

Roselyn Kaondera-Shava, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Roselyn Kaondera-Shava received her PhD in Mathematics from Botswana International University of Science & Technology. Her area of expertise is applied mathematics, with specific focus on Mathematical Epidemiology. Her doctorate was dedicated to the development and analysis of mathematical models for infectious diseases (such as Ebola virus disease and AIDS-associated Kaposi’s sarcoma) caused by viral infections, with a particular interest in gaining more insight into disease dynamics and outbreaks, leading to the control of disease spread. At Columbia University, Roselyn is working on investigating nonlinear error growth in infectious disease systems and developing model-inference frameworks for simulation of infectious agents, inference of critical epidemiological characteristics, counterfactual simulations, and projections and forecasting.

Haruka Morita

Haruka Morita, MPH, CPH

Project Coordinator

Haruka received her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health and her BS in Biology from Lehigh University. She is interested in health impacts of various climate change events, and her previous work includes a health impact assessment on cardiopulmonary outcomes due global PM2.5 pollution from the aviation sector. With Dr. Shaman, she is currently working on developing a model to forecast influenza using data from municipal departments of health as well as analyzing viral respiratory infection data for the "Virome of Manhattan" project. 

Robbie Parks, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Robbie earned his PhD from Imperial College London and an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Oxford. He is an environmental epidemiologist whose primary interests are in understanding the impact that climate, weather, and air pollution has on mortality, nutrition, and disease outcomes, and how these impacts may be different in sub-groups of a population. He is also interested in developing new (particularly Bayesian) statistical methods, relevant to these concerns. In summer 2017, during his studies, he interned at the World Meteorological Organisation, a constituent part of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland. While interning, he became a founding member of the Global Heat Health Information Network.

Matteo Perini, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Matteo earned his PhD from the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences at University of Milan (Italy) and his MS in Biosciences from University of Camerino (Italy). His doctoral studies mainly focused on the development of bioinformatic tools and protocols for the application of new approaches for fast and inexpensive subspecies typing of pathogens, particularly in nosocomial settings. At Columbia, Matteo is working on metapopulation mathematical models with data assimilation methods to study and forecast the dynamics of infectious diseases. He is also working on human genomic data to perform Genome-Wide Association Studies in acute respiratory infections.

Tal Robin

Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Tal received his PhD from the Department of Physical Chemistry at Tel-Aviv University for his work on stochastic approaches to the analysis of kinetic schemes. His previous work included models of enzymatic reactions, adhesion, and pollination with emphasis on intuitive modeling. His main interests are stochastic processes, agent-based modeling, and statistical inference. At Columbia, Tal is working on a network-based model of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens spreading within hospitals in an effort to extract accurate estimations of model parameters and identifying individuals with increased risk. This work's aim is to advance knowledge about specific infections as well as the methods themselves.

Teresa Yamana

Teresa Yamana, PhD

Associate Research Scientist

Teresa completed her PhD in hydrology at MIT in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Her research interests lie at the intersection of environment and infectious disease, with a focus on vector-borne disease.  Her doctoral research explored the relationships between climate, entomology, and malaria transmission in West Africa using a framework of detailed mechanistic modeling.  This framework was used to assess the impacts of climate change on malaria transmission.  At Columbia, she is developing transmission models for dengue and other vector-borne diseases to be used in conjunction with data assimilation methods to generate ensemble-based forecasts of disease outbreaks.

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