November 21, 2019

Faces of Innovation: Dr. Geoffrey Siwo, researcher at University of Notre Dame

Marissa Chmiola
Communications Officer

Faces of Innovation—a new GHTC project that features scientists on the front lines of research and development on new global health tools and technologies—profiles Dr. Geoffrey Siwo, who we met at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Conference, who develops mathematical models to accelerate product development at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

My Name: Geoffrey Siwo, PhD.

Where I work: University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana

I’m funded by: National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation

My research: My research is in developing computational methods that impact the way we do science, especially with respect to global health….Basically the goal is to ensure that we can accelerate the way new medicines are brought into the market for diseases like malaria, and so this is why our project is to arrange computation methods, such as artificial intelligence that can have a rapid impact on the way we translate some of the science findings intro practical applications for global health….We believe that artificial intelligence can cut down the time that is needed to do this. 

One aspect [of our research] is to understand drug resistance, especially for malaria. So for the case of malaria where there is resistance to [the malaria drug] artemisinin, we are inviting data scientists to develop computational models that predict the mechanisms of the resistance and that will help in potential surveillance of resistance.

Motivation: I am from Kenya originally, and I am motivated to do this research because malaria is a big problem in Africa and the only way to make a difference is to develop the therapies that directly address the disease.

Why federal support is critical: This research has the potential to affect millions of lives. We know that disease has no barriers, and the solutions that we develop for diseases in any part of the world can have an impact on any other part of the world, including the US.

When I’m not in the lab: I like reading some novels, especially regarding future technology and the future of the world.