Director of Data Science
“At EcoHealth Alliance, I'm working with scientists from many different fields, investigating disease emergence with a really comprehensive approach. Coming to EcoHealth Alliance with a background in epidemiology and sociology gives me an appreciation of how important an interdisciplinary approach is to understanding how our actions contribute to complex phenomena like disease emergence.”
Toph Allen, Director of Data Scientist on EcoHealth Alliance’s Tech Team, applies his expertise in epidemiology, statistical modeling, and data science to improve our understanding of disease emergence.
His work on the PREDICT Program uses statistical and machine learning techniques to link drivers of disease emergence to past disease emergence events. On the Tech Team, he works withEcoHealth Alliance’s software developers to build natural language processing technology to enhance biosurveillance efforts, and is exploring the creation of tools to help scientists from different disciplines collaborate more easily.
Toph received his BA in Sociology from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Subsequently, in the wake of California’s ballot measure banning same-sex marriage, he worked as a political organizer at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. There, Toph managed volunteer canvasses to collect and analyze data on voters’ views about same-sex marriage.
His experience in quantitative approaches to social issues motivated him to continue his education at Columbia University where Toph received his MPH (Master of Public Health) in epidemiology. His master’s thesis focused on risk models of disease emergence.