Department of Media and Communication Center for Communication Research

Dr Xiaofan Liu receives grant award from Grand Challenges ICODA COVID-19 Data Science pilot initiative

30 Jul 2021 (Fri)

COM is pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Dr. Xiaofan Liu has won a data science research grant from The International COVID-19 Data Alliance (ICODA) and the Grand Challenges (GC) initiative. His proposal is among the ten projects selected from more than 400 applications submitted from 69 countries after a rigorous review process involving an international panel.
Dr. Liu’s research team, including members from the UK, mainland, and Hong Kong, have published a series of research papers on COVID-19 in the past year on prominent venues, including Science, Emerging Infectious Disease, Clinical Infectious Disease, Scientific Data, Journal of Travel Medicine, BMC Public Health, etc.
His proposed project, entitled “Characterizing COVID-19 transmission chains for precision mitigation, using epidemiological survey data” intends to improve control measures for COVID-19 by applying statistical methods to existing datasets containing over 40,000 COVID-19 cases from five Asian countries to reconstruct transmission chains between individuals in households and communities.
ICODA is a globally coordinated data-led research response to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, convened by Health Data Research UK, the UK’s national institute for health data science. ICODA is funded by the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a large-scale initiative initiated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, Mastercard with additional support from Minderoo Foundation, Microsoft’s philanthropic AI for Health programme, and other donors.
Grand Challenges, Launched in 2003 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems. Each initiative is an experiment in the use of challenges to focus innovation on making an impact. Only six research teams in Hong Kong have ever received a Grand Challenge award from the Foundation.
The final ten grant awardees of the GC ICODA COVID-19 Data Science pilot initiative include Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, USA and Fiocruz, Brazil, which are among the best research institutions on infectious disease studies. These projects will address urgent research questions relating to the ongoing pandemic using innovative data science approaches and seek to have rapid impact on the health of communities across the world.