ASPIRATIONS OF OUR RESEARCH GROUP
I find scientific studies in the fields where I work – public health, population biology, epidemiology, microbiology and immunology — most interesting if they do one or more of the following. I aspire to meet one or more of these criteria in most of the work our group produces, and I admire work by others that does so.
- Provide evidence, frameworks for evaluation, or analytic tools that help public health officials make better decisions about resource allocation or the choice, timing or targeting of interventions to control important diseases;
- Suggest new approaches to disease control (novel approaches to treating or immunizing individuals, or strategies for population-wide interventions) that may work better than existing ones, or show why proposed approaches are unlikely to work;
- Provide a mechanistic or partially mechanistic explanation for an observed phenomenon (such as the consistent frequency distribution of pneumococcal serotypes or the accumulation of serotype-transcending immunity to pneumococcus or the seasonality of influenza) or define a hypothetical mechanism that might explain an important phenomenon (such as the observation that drug resistance is more readily eliminated in hospital-acquired than in community-acquired pathogens);
- Clarify the relationship between the impact of public health interventions on individuals receiving them and the effect on the rest of the population;
- Estimate or model important epidemiologic quantities for infections, such as transmissibility, severity, or prevalence, or define principles for measuring these and relating them to the likely effectiveness of interventions;
- Improve the design or analysis of studies addressing scientifically or practically important questions, or help us identify how to generalize from experience with (say) one infection in one population, to a different infection or a different population.