The application of statistical analysis to medicine has been a growing practice, and Pardis Sabeti’s research has been at the forefront of this evolution. By using computational genetics to understand patterns of disease resistance as well as identifying the factors driving disease susceptibility, researchers are now much closer to being able to develop successful intervention strategies. The interdisciplinary approach of applying mathematical concepts to health and societal issues is sure to play a critical role in implementing effective ways to control contagions, especially in regions like West Africa where diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and hemorrhagic fever continue to burden the population.
1) What kind of statistics would be useful in developing strategies to combat the spread of deadly diseases?
2) What would be the best way to gather these statistics?
3) How would you use these numbers in conjunction with knowledge from other fields (science, health, society) in order to create an effective intervention plan?