New Advisory Council Joins The Epiverse

Epiverse Advisory Council – Blog

In keeping with the goal of making the data-driven social sector a collective responsibility, we’ve invited a group of data science experts and talented industry leaders to join data.org’s Epiverse initiative as part of our inaugural Expert Advisory Council. The global Epiverse consortium is dedicated to designing and building inclusive, open-source, privacy-preserving tools for the epidemiology community aimed at mitigating the impact of the current pandemic and preventing the next public health crisis. The advisors will provide critical counsel to the team in support of this work, informing the creation and widespread adoption of these tools.

We are proud to welcome the members of the Epiverse Expert Advisory Council:

  • Dr. Philip Sami Onsy AbdelMalik, Team Lead, Information Systems and Analytics Initiative Lead, Epidemic Intelligence from Open Sources (EIOS), WHO Health Emergencies Programme (WHE)
  • Dr. Regina Barzilay, Professor, School of Engineering Distinguished Professor for AI and Health, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Chapin Flynn, Senior Vice President, Mastercard Enterprise Partnerships
  • Dr. Josie Golding, Epidemics Research Lead, Wellcome
  • Dr. Chonnettia Jones, Vice President, Research, Michael Smith Health Research BC
  • Dr. Rebecca Kahn, Senior Scientist, CDC’s Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, Visiting Scientist, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Dr. Sam Scarpino, Managing Director, Pandemic Prevention Institute, Health Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Dr. Uyi Stewart, Executive Director, Data Science – Technical Operations and Process Sciences (TOPS), Seagen Inc., Chairman, Data Science Nigeria
  • Kaitlin Thaney,Executive Director, Invest in Open Infrastructure
  • Dr. Peiling Yap, Chief Scientist, International Digital Health & AI Research Collaborative

Bringing on the Best and Brightest

By harnessing the brainpower of the collective, the newly formed council is an embodiment of Epiverse’s community approach. Members represent leaders from different specialist areas: infectious disease, epidemiology, epidemiological modelling, and public health; data science, software engineering, product development, cloud infrastructure; and privacy-preservation approaches (differential privacy, privacy ML, homomorphic encryption).

“Each member of the Epiverse Advisory Council brings their own unique set of personal passions and professional expertise. This assembly is a testament to the critical need for an open and interdisciplinary collaboration to power pandemic response. We are incredibly lucky to be able to convene such a diverse group and look forward to having their guidance as we continue to expand the initiative globally,” said Dr. Danil Mikhailov, Executive Director of data.org.

Global Co-Design and Creation

As COVID-19 cases edge toward the 300 million mark worldwide, the need for accessible, accurate data analysis in public health remains urgent. Leveraging data.org’s platform for partnerships, the team behind Epiverse has already begun the task of collaborating with some of the best and brightest scientists and academics from around the world, as evidenced by the recent launch of our work with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – but that is only the beginning. Looking ahead to 2022, data.org will engage both the public and private sectors with innovative programs to create and maintain a suite of open-source software tools that will not only uncover new insights in the fight against the pandemic but will work toward addressing inequalities in data analysis accessibility in low-to-middle income countries.

“I am honored to join the Epiverse Advisory Council, particularly as this effort is focused on co-creating these important and much-needed epidemiological tools with experts in low-to-middle income countries. It is important that our work to combat the pandemic is developed with those most at risk, not just in mind, but actually in the room – true co-design, adaptation, and maintenance from a global community is how we get ahead of the next public health crisis.” said Dr. Uyi Stewart, Executive Director at Seagen Inc. and Chairman of Data Science Nigeria.

Expert Navigators Across Industry

The group will serve on the advisory council for a term of three years and be integral to Epiverse’s growth and success. Members will advise on the program’s strategic direction, participate in the upcoming privacy-preserving technology challenge, and offer overall perspective and guidance on complex partnerships and collaborative efforts between researchers, governments, technology companies, social impact organizations, funders, and academics. On the heels of the LSHTM and Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia (MRCG) at LSHTM partnership, unveiling this advisory council is another demonstration of the momentum developing around Epiverse. We look forward to growing the council to include more voices from around the world, ensuring that Epiverse continues to put data equity, inclusivity, and the collective good at the center our strategy.