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Dynamic modeling of emerging drug use epidemics and associated health harms in the United States

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral fellowship in substance use and associated health harms, including HIV, HCV and overdose, in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health (IDGPH) at the University of California San Diego (

Drug use epidemics are fast-evolving and our public health response often lags far behind. In 2017 alone, over 70,000 people died of an overdose in the United States and drug use associated HIV outbreaks were identified. Technological advances have led to an explosion in the emergence of powerful synthetic substances and improved transport and communication infrastructure facilitates the emergence of drug markets. Inequalities, poor mental health services and other social issues contribute to an increased susceptibility to drug use disorders.
The project will focus on enhancing public health preparedness to emerging drug use epidemics in the United States. Broadly, the goal is to develop dynamic models to predict the risk of emerging drug use epidemics and associated health harms in the United States. The models will build on knowledge of individual and community susceptibility to emerging drug use epidemics, and use routine survey data from a range of sources as well as real time data on changing drug use patterns and associated symptoms obtained from internet data sources.
The postdoctoral scholar will work under the primary supervision of Dr. Annick Borquez (, and the project specifications will be determined based on the scholar’s interests and qualifications and involve dynamic modeling (using compartmental and individual based models), statistical analysis and cost-effectiveness evaluation. Scholars will benefit from biweekly seminars and trainee sessions on substance use, HIV and related infections, journal clubs, and NIH grant writing circles. The team at the IDGPH division is highly interdisciplinary and offers opportunities for collaboration with epidemiologists, clinicians, statisticians, policymakers, legal experts and public health researchers.
The initial appointment will be for one year, with option for renewal for up to four additional years based on performance. Applicants should have a PhD in a relevant discipline (applied mathematics, epidemiology, engineering, statistics and related fields) and be proficient in Matlab, R or C++. Salary will be commensurate with qualification and experience and include travel to conferences and funding for relevant courses. Applicants from under-represented minority populations are encouraged to apply.
Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Applicants should submit a cover letter, their CV, and at least two names of potential referees. For further information, please contact Annick Borquez (

University of California San Diego
San Diego
United States
Closing date
November 11th, 2019
Posted on
October 11th, 2019 01:45
Last updated
October 11th, 2019 01:45