Risk Assessment and Prediction of Infectious Disease Outbreaks (RAPID): An integrated framework of quantitative public health policy design

Traditionally, British Columbia has played an important role in public health policy design in Canada. BC has a reputation for providing leadership in population health research aimed at improving the health of its residents. To continue providing leadership in this realm, BC needs to create a timely, quantitative framework to stifle the increasing threat of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Despite medical advances, communicable diseases remain a major cause of death, disability and social and economic upheaval for millions around the world. Consequently, combating infectious diseases requires planning beyond individual-based interventions. Dr. Babak Pourbohloul is working to develop an integrated research, mentoring, education, and knowledge translation platform. He will create a quantitative risk assessment and predictive framework to understand the pattern of infectious disease spread, and will develop mathematical models to identify optimal, cost-effective control strategies against a wide variety of infections. This research will enable public health leaders to address six key areas: the most effective control strategies for emerging respiratory infectious diseases and influenza pandemic preparedness; vaccination program evaluation; public safety and bioterrorism; public health issues associated with infection control in marginalized populations; hospital infection prevention; and outbreak containment. Through Dr. Pourbohloul’s research, both the province and the BC Centre for Disease Control can maintain their vision and leadership in managing the complexity of infectious disease transmission with innovative and sophisticated quantitative tools – improving the health of all Canadians.