media release

SFU computing science professor awarded prestigious Sloan Fellowship

Award will help fund research into tackling infectious disease epidemics

March 02, 2016

Leonid Chindelevitch, Faculty of Applied Sciences, 778.782.4973,
Caitlin Dawson, Faculty of Applied Sciences, 778.782.7029,  
Justin Wong, University Communications, 778.782.3210,


Leonid Chindelevitch, assistant professor of computing 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 disease 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 U.S. 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, School of Computing Science director.

“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 in the fall of 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 completed graduate studies at MIT and 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.



·      In 2012, nearly 10,000 new cases of tuberculosis were reported in the U.S.

·      50,000 new cases of HIV infections occur annually in the U.S.

·      New, potentially dangerous bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites such as SARS, Ebola and the Zika virus emerge every year and previously recognized pathogens can evolve to become resistant to available antibiotics and other treatments.



Infectious Diseases Society of America Factsheet

John Hopkins Medicine


·      Sloan Research Fellowship, website

·      Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, website

·      Leonid Chindelevitch, website

·      Interview with Leonid Chindelevitch in MIT News


As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 135,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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