Seminar - Philip Eckhoff

Principal Investigator, The Institute of Disease Modeling (IDM)

“Mathematical Modeling to Support Planning of Disease Eradication Programs”

Abstract: Disease eradication is a powerful concept, although it can be very challenging to achieve success.  At present, only smallpox and rinderpest have been successfully eradicated, while polio and guinea worm are in late stages of their respective programs and near success.  Other efforts, including an earlier campaign for malaria eradication, have not succeeded globally.  These campaigns often dramatically reduced disease burden during their operation and may have achieved localized successes, but fell short globally.  A successful disease eradication is a tremendous achievement, but each new disease presents specific challenges that must be addressed.

An overview of disease eradication efforts is provided, with discussion of successes and failures and specific examples from smallpox, polio, and malaria.  As new efforts ramp up for eradication of malaria and completion of the global polio eradication campaign, certain questions emerge regarding planning, strategy, and tactics which can be addressed through quantitative analysis and mathematical modeling.  Specific focus is given to mechanistic models of malaria, although current IDM modeling efforts on polio, enteric infections, and TB are summarized.

Philip Eckhoff is the Principal Investigator of the Institute for Disease Modeling in   Bellevue, Washington. Beyond modeling disease Eradication, his research interests include   technologies for improved public health in the developing world and other global   development issues, such as vaccine delivery, developing world nutrition and agriculture, and improved sanitation.  Philip received his Ph.D. at Princeton University in applied and computational mathematics where he focused on computational neuroscience and biophysics‐motivated models of decision making. Philip received a Special Achievement Award by a Hertz Fellow in 2009. He served on the Board of Directors for the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation and is an interviewer for its graduate fellowship program. He also serves as an External Reviewer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


cohosted by the Eck Institute for Global Health and the Department of Computer Science & Engineering