Neha Agarwala, a doctoral students in the statistics program, has been selected as the winner of the Best Student Paper Award of the Joint Statistical Meetings 2021.
The paper Individual and community-level risk for COVID-19 mortality in the United States, published in in Nature Medicine, is co-authored with Dr. Nilanjan Chatterjee (the Johns Hopkins University) and postdocs Jin Jin and Prosenjit Kundu. Neha worked on this project with Dr. Chatterjee (Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins University) and his group during the summer of 2020.
The article describes the development and validation of a COVID-19 mortality risk calculator for individuals in the US adult population and community-level risk through city-, county- and state-level projections. The analyses are done based on integration of information from several national databases. The online risk calculator provides individuals the platform to assess their own risk based on predisposing factors and risk incorporating pandemic forecasting models to capture pandemic dynamics over time.
The paper also provides resources for policymakers to assess risk projections at different geographic levels through web based interactive maps and identify the small high-risk groups where mortality is most likely to be concentrated. The novel results presented in the paper can provide guidance to national and local policymakers for a fair and effective risk-based allocation of new COVID-19 vaccines and also show how much utility such interventions may have in reducing the total population burden of death.