Dr. Richard C Elliott joined Boise State in 2016 as an Assistant Research Professor in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering.
Dr. Elliott’s goal is to help eliminate malaria, a global health problem affecting millions worldwide despite being a simply and inexpensively cured infection. Since policy and control program limitations present obstacles, Dr. Elliott collaborates with clinicians and policy makers to provide rich computational modeling and simulation to expand control options and improve strategy and policy.
Malaria is one of several “vector-based” diseases, where an insect is the carrier (some others are Zika and Lyme disease). Dr. Elliot’s work fills a research gap in epidemiological modeling by offering insights on vector-based disease transmission that use physical mechanisms and methods. Identifying dynamical pathways in the transmission system from mosquito to host may illuminate weaknesses that practitioners could exploit for superior disease control. Such efforts will (hopefully) lead to more effective control mechanisms and policy, optimize available resources, and potentially minimize chemical exposure.
Dr. Elliott collaborates across disciplines to address this problem and welcomes inquiries from faculty and student researchers as well as potential funders.
Trained as a physicist, Dr. Elliott has broad expertise in computational modeling, particularly in statistical field theories for chain molecules, having worked in lipid biophysics and polymer theory. Dr. Elliott later became interested in vector-based disease and theories of transmission through a community of friends working in nonprofit agencies in sub-Saharan Africa. With Pilgrim Africa, they currently run a study in rural NE Uganda with control policy designed and informed by theory and simulation, and funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (#OPP1148566).