Department of Health Metrics Sciences

Lecture Series

The HMS lecture series remains on hiatus and will return soon.

The HMS lecture series is held on the first and third Fridays of each month from 10:35 to 11:30am PDT (initially via Zoom) and features themed talks by HMS faculty, faculty invited from other departments at UW and/or from other institutions around the world. Themes rotate every two months. We strongly encourage all HMS faculty, postdocs, and students to regularly attend this series and to invite collaborators and colleagues to join. All available recordings from this series can be viewed on HMS YouTube channel, here. 

Contact to receive Zoom information for the series.

Previous lectures

April 16, 2021

COVID-19 in 2021 and Beyond

Bobby Reiner, Associate Professor

May 7, 2021

COVID-19 data: How do data systems affect modelling?

David Pigott, Assistant Professor

May 21, 2021

Modeling COVID-19: Approaches and Applications in Washington State

Marita Zimmermann, Senior Research Economist, Institute for Disease Modeling

June 4, 2021

Estimating Global Total COVID-19 Mortality

Christopher J.L. Murray, Professor, and Haidong Wang, Associate Professor

July 2, 2021

What can COVID tell us about pandemic preparedness?

Joseph Dieleman, Associate Professor

July 16, 2021

State of the States: Tracking State Differences by Race and Income

David C. Radley, Senior Scientist, Tracking Health System Performance, The Commonwealth Fund

August 6, 2021

How effective is health-care spending in the United States? Cause-specific spending per disability-adjusted life-year averted from 1996 to 2016

Marcia Weaver, Research Professor, Department of Health Metrics Sciences

August 20, 2021

Health systems research before and after COVID-19: A litmus test for everyone

Rafael Lozano, Professor, Department of Health Metrics Sciences

September 3, 2021

Climate futures: Estimating the present and future burden of disease attributable to temperature

Katrin Burkart, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Metrics Sciences

September 17, 2021

Wildfire smoke and health: From Local actions to global impacts

Michael Brauer, Affiliate Professor, Department of Health Metrics Sciences

October 1, 2021

Climate and health: Connecting the dots

Kai Chen, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Environmental Health), Yale School of Public Health

October 15, 2021

Blood lead and mortality risk: revisiting an analysis of NHANES data

Jeff Stanaway, Assistant Professor

October 22, 2021

Influence of Environmental Factors on Respiratory Virus Transmission: From Influenza to SARS-CoV-2

Sen Pei and Wan Yang, Assistant Professors, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health

November 5, 2021

Antimicrobial National Consumption and Point Prevalence Survey in Tanzania

Andy Stergachis, PhD, BPharm, Professor of Pharmacy & Global Health, Adjunct Professor of Health Metrics Sciences, Associate Dean, School of Pharmacy

November 19, 2021

Foundations and developments in the analysis of causes of death using verbal autopsies

Abraham Flaxman, Associate Professor and Bernardo Hernández Prado, Professor, both of the Department of Health Metrics Sciences

December 3, 2021

Verbal autopsy and mortality surveillance: A strategy to improve quality of information on causes of death in Brazil

Maria de Fatima Marinho de Souza, Professor, University of Minas Gerais and Senior Advisor, Vital Strategies

December 17, 2021

Implementation of SmartVA in The Philippines

Scientia Associate Professor Rohina Joshi presents about SmartVA, an electronic decision support tool to improve cause of death certification in The Philippines. The majority of deaths in the Philippines occur out-of-facility and require a medical certificate of cause of death by Municipal Health Officers (MHOs) for burial. MHOs lack a standardised certification process for out-of-facility deaths and when no medical records are available, certify a high proportion of ill-defined causes of death. We aimed to develop and introduce SmartVA Auto-Analyse, a verbal autopsy (VA) based electronic decision support tool in order to assist the MHOs in certifying out-of-facility deaths.

January 7, 2022

Validating the addition of COVID-19 to Verbal Autopsy using a Prospective Meta-Analysis Methodology

CDR Erin Nichols is an epidemiologist at CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), where she has supported global Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) efforts since 2011. CDR Nichols leads the Global CRVS Improvement Team, through which she directs the Team’s engagement in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health Initiative.  CDR Nichols is a member of the WHO Verbal Autopsy Reference Group and serves as a Commissioned Officer in the US Public Health Service. Prior to moving to NCHS, CDR Nichols served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer with CDC’s International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control Team.  Originally from Indiana, she received her MPH and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas.

January 21, 2022

Verbal Autopsy in Ethiopia

Awoke Misganaw Temesgen, Clinical Assistant Professor

February 4, 2022

IHME COVID-19 Model Update

Bobby Reiner, Associate Professor

March 4, 2022

Estimating the burden of disease attributable to ​high LDL-Cholesterol

Christian Razo, Postdoctoral Scholar

Special event: April 8, 2022

High blood pressure and lessons in translating evidence in to action

Anthony Rodgers, Professor of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney

April 15, 2022

Variable selection in regression models

Sasha Aravkin, Adjunct Associate Professor and Director of Mathematical Sciences, and Peng Zheng, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Metrics Sciences

May 20, 2022

Formulating Statistical Models, using Estimation of Global Covid-19 Excess Mortality as an Example

Jon Wakefield

May 27, 2022 [this recording is not available on YouTube]

Modern Computing with Gaussian Processes

Bamdad Hosseini, Assistant Professor, the Department of Applied Mathematics at University of Washington.

June 3, 2022

A multipronged approach to tackle the threat of antimicrobial resistance: from national and regional research efforts to the global burden estimation

Abstract: This lecture will concentrate on research efforts by the presenter that took him on a journey from a small country with high antibiotic consumption rates all the way to the United States and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), where he got involved in the global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) research endeavor. More than ten years ago he started with the surveillance of antimicrobial susceptibility patterns of Chlamydia trachomatis, but quickly transitioned to appraising resistance determinants in Gram negative pathogens (such as Escherichia coli and Proteus mirabilis) on a national level, but also regionally in neighboring countries. The resistance problem urged him to collaborate in various research teams and proposing novel treatment solutions for both Escherichia coli and Chlamydia trachomatis. Now at the IHME he is a part of the AMR research team and, supervised by Professor Mohsen Naghavi, is leading a study on the burden of AMR in the WHO European region. First results of the cross-country systematic analysis from the most comprehensive AMR burden assessment in Europe will be presented during the talk as well.

Tomislav Meštrović is a medical doctor and a clinical microbiology specialist/consultant with MD/PhD degrees from the University of Zagreb, MPH degree from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and an additional 1-year training in clinical trials at Harvard Medical School. He is an Associate Professor at University North in Croatia, and a Visiting Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Since 2017 Tomislav is a Croatian collaborator for the Global Burden of Disease enterprise, and in the academic year 2021/2022 he became a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the IHME and the Department of Health Metrics Sciences at the University of Washington, working in the AMR team and the GRAM project. He is a Secretary-General of the Croatian Society for Clinical Microbiology, as well as a Member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) CHOMA Committee and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) External Affairs Committee. Tomislav holds fellowships from the Royal Society for Public Health (FRSHP) and the College of American Pathologists (IFACP). He is an avid lecturer, science communicator and an active proponent of science diplomacy.

Special event: November 18, 2022

Targeting Vulnerability: Reducing Pediatric Mortality and Morbidity in High-Risk Populations

Judd Walson, Professor of Global Health, Medicine (Infectious Disease), Pediatrics and Epidemiology at University of Washington. He currently serves as the Principal Investigator and/or co-Director of a number of initiatives and studies focused on improving child survival, growth and development in resource-limited settings. Dr. Walson completed his training in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residencies at Duke University, a fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of Washington, and holds a Masters degree in Public Health from Tufts University. Dr. Walson has extensive experience in the design and implementation of large clinical trials in resource-limited settings, including in Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Uganda. Dr. Walson is particularly interested in the effects of enteric infection and composition on childhood survival, immunologic function and growth.

Special event: December 2, 2022 [this recording is not available on YouTube]

Integrating Washington state administrative data for policy & research

Administrative records maintained by state governments to administer Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs provide a valuable resource for economic and policy research. These records contain rich longitudinal, worker-level information but lack data on demographic characteristics of workers, including sex, age, and racial and ethnic identity. This presentation will describe how a team of UW researchers has developed a new state-level data resource based on UI data that links employment records to demographic identifiers compiled from other state agency records. We will describe the assembly process and show how the resulting data compare to Census population estimates. We will also share a use case of how these data have been used to estimate the impact of Seattle’s minimum wage increases on SNAP participation. We will conclude with our plans for continuing to use these data for policy and population research. Learn more at

Jennie Romich (UW School of Social Work), Elizabeth Pelletier (UW Evans School), Callie Freitag (UW Evans School), and Tess Abrahamson-Richards (UW School of Social Work)