Senior Data Scientist
“At EcoHealth Alliance, I work with scientists from many different fields, and that means we study disease emergence with a really comprehensive approach. It's a complex topic and this kind of interdisciplinary approach is necessary to understand it and stand a chance of making a real difference."
Toph Allen, Senior Data Scientist at EcoHealth Alliance, applies his expertise in epidemiology, statistical modeling, and data science to improve our understanding of disease emergence.
His work on EcoHealth Alliance’ IBIS project identifies outbreaks in news reports and maps their potential spread through the flight network via infected travelers, showing the data in an interactive web app. His other projects include using machine learning to link drivers of disease emergence to past disease emergence events and developing a new method to correct for bias when analyzing large sets of scientific studies.
Toph received his MPH (Master of Public Health) in epidemiology at Columbia University. There, his thesis focused on risk models of disease emergence. His study of quantitative approaches to social problems was motivated by his time working as a political organizer at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, after getting his undergraduate degree in Sociology. There, in the wake of California’s 2008 ballot measure banning same-sex marriage, he managed volunteer canvasses to collect and analyze data on voters’ views about same-sex marriage.