Dr Felipe Colon
in Dengue Modelling
My main are of expertise lies on understanding the role of climatic, environmental, and socio-economic factors on the spatio-temporal dynamics of climate-sensitive diseases.
I graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1998 with a BSc in Veterinary Medicine. I worked as a Veterinary Surgeon in Mexico until 2007 with a particular interest in zoonotic diseases. In 2008, I graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MSc in Environmental Sciences. In 2013, I obtained a PhD in Climate Change and Human Health from the University of East Anglia. My PhD thesis focused on the role of climate and climate change on the risk of dengue transmission in Mexico.
From 2012-2015, I worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy investigating the effects of climatic, environmental and socioeconomic factors on malaria transmission in Eastern Africa. I also worked with the Ministries of Health of Uganda and Rwanda in the development of a high-resolution, malaria forecasting system. I participated in several FP7 Consortia (QWECI, Healthy Futures, Responses) providing technical expertise on statistical disease modelling. From 2015 to Jan 2019, I was a Senior Research Associate at the University of East Anglia working on the development of statistical and machine learning decision support tools for syndromic surveillance in England. My work has influenced how syndromic surveillance is conducted in England. I have worked with Public Health England in several Health Protection Research Units providing expertise in statistical disease modelling. I am a Visiting Academic at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
Over the past 11 years my main research area has been investigating the influence of weather and climate upon infectious diseases. Initially, this work focused primarily on vector-borne diseases. More recently, I have contributed to numerous international projects investigating the influence of weather and climate upon other climate-sensitive diseases such as allergic rhinitis, campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis. I have led unique cross-disciplinary studies on the effects of both climate and climate change on infectious diseases in Latin America, South East Asia, Europe and Africa. One of my most recent contributions investigated the health benefits of limiting climate change to 1.5 and 2.0 degrees using a range of emission scenarios and climate models across Latin America and the Caribbean. My research has fed onto the two most recent IPCC reports.
My other research interest is syndromic surveillance. Over the past four years I have contributed to the Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response with Public Health England (PHE) integrating statistical and machine learning algorithms with syndromic surveillance data to develop predictive decision support tools for the early warning of public health events.