SFU computer science professor awarded prestigious Sloan Fellowship

February 25, 2016

Leonid Chindelevitch, assistant professor in computer science at Simon Fraser University, has received a Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Chindelevitch uses mathematical modeling and big data to understand and predict the development of infectious diseases epidemics—such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis and Lyme disease. 

Predictive models, based on factors like the spread of similar diseases in the past, can help public health authorities respond to serious epidemics such as the Zika virus or Ebola.

Chindelevitch is among 126 outstanding early-career scientists and scholars from 52 colleges and universities across the US and Canada being recognized for their performance and substantial contributions to their fields.

 “We are delighted that the Sloan Foundation has recognized professor Chindelevitch for his outstanding accomplishments and potential in the field of computational biology,” says professor Greg Mori, director of the School of Computing Science.

“Fellows represent some of the best and brightest young scientists, and Dr. Chindelevitch is well-deserving of the recognition. He is perfectly poised to further explore the underlying causes of the spread of infectious diseases and to continue to make advances in disease modelling.”

Chindelevitch, who joined the School of Computing Science in Fall 2015, is particularly interested in how research at the intersection of the sciences, medicine and public policy can improve patient outcomes, especially in low-income populations.

Chindelevitch performed his graduate studies at MIT and completed his postdoctoral training at the Harvard School of Public Health focusing on models of tuberculosis. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University.

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit institution that supports original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and economics. Fellows receive $55,000 to further their research.

Administered and funded by the foundation, the fellowships are awarded in eight scientific categories. To qualify, candidates must first be nominated by fellow scientists and subsequently selected by an independent panel of senior scholars.

Since the launch of the program in 1955, 43 Sloan Fellows have earned Nobel Prizes, 16 have won the Fields Medal in mathematics, 68 have received the National Medal of Science, and 15 have won the John Bates Clark Medal in economics.