Big Data

Our research

Admin leads: Robert Hogg and Hui Xie

Thanks to the explosion of data-recording devices in everyday life, information is available in previously unthinkable quantities. However, the volume, variety, and speed at which such data is uploaded is a double-edged sword: while we have access to unprecedented amounts of detailed information, it takes serious processing power to find useful patterns or correlations. The challenge of our research area is to harness the power of big data to provide solutions for global public health, while developing best ethical practices for working with data collected from a range of sources.

So many of our personal devices collect valuable data—from the number of steps we take in a day, to the cycles of sleep we go through at night, and even our spending habits at different times of year. Analyzing overlapping data sets that encompass huge populations allows us to better understand problems that are traditionally difficult to study—such as comorbidity, or the long-term health of populations over decades. Our interdisciplinary team works to develop data applications and create a framework for ethically collecting, using and storing data. As a complex, emerging research area, it is important to use the collaborative resources and expertise of a wide range of researchers, ensuring data is put to good use wherever it may be relevant. As an emerging field, big data analysis is one of the most exciting, cutting-edge research methodologies.



  • Fiona Brinkman Developing bioinformatics methods, and capitalizing on combined bioinformatics and wet-lab approaches, investigating microbes and their host/environmental interactions
  • Zabrina Brumme Molecular epidemiology, HIV/AIDS, immunology, genetics
  • Tania Bubela Health and biotechnology law and policy, knowledge translation in health
  • Susan Erikson Medical anthropology; ethnographic research; global political economy of health; datafication; financialization; digital health technologies; planetary health risk financing; desirable health futures
  • Robert Hogg HIV/AIDS, antiretroviral therapy, marginalized populations, population health
  • Lawrence McCandless Biostatistics, epidemiology and environmental health
  • Pablo Nepomnaschy Human biology, anthropology, human ecology & health, stress & reproductive health
  • Nadine Provençal Epigenomics, Biological embedding of early life exposures, Developmental trajectories of health and diseases, Stress hormones regulation of gene expression and Behavioral and psychiatric disorders
  • Hasina Samji Epidemiology, biostatistics, infectious diseases, implementation science methods, marginalized populations, health services provision, global health, health innovation
  • Hui Xie Missing data analysis, eHealth and mhealth, Combining Social and Health Behavior Data from Multiple Sources, Statistical Methods for Disclosure Control.

Postdoctoral fellows and visitors

  • Oghenowede (Ede) Eyawo

  • Taylor McLinden

  • Kate Salters

PhD students

  • Lulu Guo

  • Md Rashedul Hoque

  • Natalie Kinloch

MSc students

  • Yue Ma

  • Kai Zhao

Our partners

Recent Theses

Coming soon.


Coming soon.