Michael Cork

PhD Student
Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and attended Pomona College for my undergraduate education. After graduating in 2016 with a major in Mathematics, I moved to Spain to teach English while continuing remote work for City of Hope, a cancer research institute. I moved to Seattle in 2017, where for the past three years I’ve been a fellow at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) working in global health research while earning a Master of Public Health degree.

My work at IHME has informed my interest in using quantitative methods to improve public health decisions. Working under Laura Dwyer-Lindgren and Simon Hay, I helped estimate local HIV prevalence at the center of the HIV/AIDS epidemic by constructing modeled covariates using Bayesian geostatistical methods. I published this work for one such covariate—male circumcision—an important driver of HIV incidence in sub-Saharan Africa. I recently completed my master’s thesis where I estimated HIV mortality in Latin American countries using incomplete local vital registration data and small area estimation methods. While I have mainly worked in the field of HIV, I am also interested in how statistical models support decision-making in environmental health. I am excited to join the department and continue developing expertise related to my research interests, which include spatial statistics, causal inference, and machine learning methods.