Simon I Hay, BSc, DPhil, DSc, is a Professor of Global Health at the at the University of Washington and Director of Geospatial Science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). His career has focused on spatial and temporal aspects of infectious disease epidemiology to support the more rational implementation of disease control and intervention strategies. He now leads an international collaboration of researchers, from a wide variety of academic disciplines, with the objective of improving the outputs and outcomes of infectious disease cartography.
His best known work is centred on accurately defining human populations at risk of malaria and its burden at global, regional and national scales, through the co-founding of the Malaria Atlas Project. He has also chaired a similar EC-funded initiative for dengue. Most recently at IHME, with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he has embarked on an ambitious new project to expand these techniques to a much wider range of diseases of the tropics and ultimately harmonize this mapping with the IHME global burden of disease effort. He is also working on a multi-collaborator grant between IHME and the University of Oxford, jointly funded by The Fleming Fund, the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to provide rigorous quantitative evidence of the burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), increase awareness, support better surveillance, and foster the rational use of antimicrobials around the world.
Prof. Hay obtained his doctorates from the University of Oxford, where he remains a member of congregation and a Professor of Epidemiology at the Big Data Institute, Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery. He has published over 360 peer-reviewed and other contributions, including two research monographs; these are cited collectively more than 10,000 times each year, leading to an h-index of >103 and >42,500 lifetime citations.
Prof. Hay was awarded the Scientific Medal (2008) of the Zoological Society of London and the Back Award (2012) of the Royal Geographical Society for research contributing to public health policy. He has also been awarded the Bailey K. Ashford Medal (2013) of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and theChalmers Memorial Medal (2015) of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH), both for exceptional contributions to tropical medicine.
Prof. Hay has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the RSTMH, and served as its 52nd President (2013-2015). He has been elected to the fellowship of the (2013) of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (FASTMH), the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (FRCP Edin) and the Academy of Medical Sciences(FMedSci).
The Lancet Infectious Diseases published a biographical sketch, Simon Hay: mapping the world’s ills, summarising Prof. Hay’s education, early career and influences. His work on mapping malaria and other vector-borne diseases, and more recently adding a geospatial dimension to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, is described. Prof. Hay’s future goal is to create high spatial resolution maps for all the diseases, risks, and injuries covered by the GBD, which could be possible in the next 10 years with advances in technology. Influential colleagues in the field, Peter Hotez and Jeremy Farrar acknowledge Prof. Hay’s geospatial vision in presenting complex data sets in an accessible way that has led to policy changes worldwide.
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