Behind the Breakthrough: Dr. Grace Huynh


Behind the Breakthrough: Dr. Grace Huynh

March 16, 2015

Meet Dr. Grace Huynh, a senior research scientist at the Institute for Disease Modeling, part of Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good initiative. Grace focuses on tuberculosis modeling in close collaboration with international philanthropy organizations and government agencies to find novel solutions to fight some of the world’s toughest diseases.

Here are some of her reflections:

On the impact of her research:

“At the Institute for Disease Modeling, we support policymaking in everything from TB to HIV, malaria, and polio. Our ideas help develop new statistical modeling to monitor how infections and rates of infection change over time.”

“Our research creates opportunities to deliver targeted therapies on an individual level, but also improves healthcare broadly. Healthcare is not the same for everyone, and not all interventions are effective in all countries. One country’s population might need radically different delivery systems than another. So [the Institute for Disease Modeling] works to determine the best solutions by analyzing the entire healthcare ecosystem.”

On the research she conducts:

“You could call my research ‘meta.’ I model TB trends to develop treatment solutions that tailor to small populations. With original data, we look at how a disease progresses in one area compared to another. For example, the risk of TB progression in someone suffering from malnutrition in a densely populated area is entirely different from someone who is otherwise healthy and lives privately. If we understand the different types of progression, we will have a better understanding of how to fight the disease as a whole.”

On progress she hopes to see:

“I would like to see improved global healthcare. Our research is making an impact, but there is always more to be done. The population will keep growing and we need to ask ourselves, ‘what are we doing to make sure everyone has a healthy and productive life?’ With more research, we can take big steps towards addressing the spread of preventable diseases that rob so many people of their livelihood and lives each year. As a society, we should always look out for one another. We will keep progressing if we do.”

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