Center for Operations Research in Medicine and Healthcare

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News and Media Citations

Firestorm: February 20, 2014. RealOpt - Helping Health Care Officials Make Important Decisions Quickly
Decision support capabilities for modeling and optimizing the public health infrastructure for all hazard emergency response: Exciting news on RealOpt© from AAAS - American Association for the Advancement of Science - Annual Meeting Your city has 48 hours to vaccinate every man, woman and child to prevent a dangerous pandemic. Where do you put the clinics, how many health care workers will you need and how do you get 2 million people to a finite number of emergency clinics? Read the full article

Fox News: February 17, 2014. Hours to save the world: New software program aims to stop deadly pandemic spread
It's a terrifying doomsday scenario: A novel infectious disease is sweeping through the world's population, and health officials have only a day or two to stop its deadly spread. While this may sound like the plot of a movie thriller, health officials argue that an event of this kind could become a reality sometime in the near future. According to researchers at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) annual meeting in Chicago, new drug-resistant infectious diseases are appearing more frequently -- and are spreading faster than ever before. Read the full article

Medindia: February 15, 2014. AAAS Panel Gives Consideration to Pandemic Emergency Response
To help coordinate a rapid response to pandemics, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta has designed software that combines biological data on the pandemic with demographic data of the at-risk population so that health officials can develop a game plan to limit the pandemic's spread. The software also combs social media sites for real-time information on the pandemic and activities of the population. Eva Lee, director of the Center for Operations Research in Medicine and HealthCare at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, will talk about her emergency response software at the 2014 AAAS annual meeting in Chicago. Read the full article

International Innovation May 2013. The Power of Technology: Transforming communication, education, business health and security through technological innovation. Optimising Decision Support, interviewed by Sophie Laggan Lee's NSF RAPID award "Population Protection and Monitoring in Response to Radiological Incidents" was selected as a featured article by the International Innovation. The optimisation of emergency responses is fundamental when time and resources are limited. Here, Professor Eva Lee explains how her career in mathematics has given her the tools and knowhow to develop decision support systems that respond rapidly in times of disaster. Emergency response capability and medical preparedness are necessary features of any community or nation. In a world with an ever expanding populous, the number of those affected by natural disasters, terrorist attacks, as well as biological or chemical incidents continues to rise. Easing pressure on resources, optimisation of response capability and preparedness are features of paramount importance. Recent times have seen favourable adoption of nuclear power as an alternative energy source. However, as past nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and, more recently, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan have shown, the consequences of nuclear disasters can be devastating. Indeed, limited human and material resources, as well as inevitable time limitations are significant challenges when responding to such an emergency. However, its emergency response planning is a highly complex task. In addition to the difficult shorterterm concerns of treating the injured, providing temporary shelters and distributing essential supplies, such events also necessitate the longterm assessment of the population's health, local radiation levels and tracking displaced citizens. More problematically, such disasters invariably involve large populations. It is for these reasons that a team from Georgia Institute of Technology, led by Professor Eva Lee, focuses its research efforts into developing a system for the optimisation of public health emergency and response infrastructure.
The project The group's focus over the past two years has been on the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011, the Fukushima nuclear power plant suffered a series of failures which resulted in the greatest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. The enormity and singularity of the emergency operations which took place have offered the team a prime opportunity for data collection and analysis. First-hand accounts and in-depth analysis in Fukushima's wake have provided a wealth of knowledge and real-life data pertaining to radiological emergency response. Read the full article

HP INPUT/OUTPUT Feature Article: May 02, 2012. Curbing Catastrophes With Analytics Technology is being used more frequently to save lives, whether in surgery, to safeguard the elderly, or now, in the event of a disease outbreak during a catastrophe. Faced with the potential for mass casualties, emergency managers have to make critical decisions rapidly to assess the affected populations, determine the location and size of treatment distribution facilities, appropriately staff those facilities with adequately trained personnel, and provide them with needed medicines and supplies. Technology is being used more frequently to save lives, whether in surgery, to safeguard the elderly, or now, in the event of a disease outbreak during a catastrophe. Faced with the potential for mass casualties, emergency managers have to make critical decisions rapidly to assess the affected populations, determine the location and size of treatment distribution facilities, appropriately staff those facilities with adequately trained personnel, and provide them with needed medicines and supplies.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has partnered with a research team at Georgia Institute of Technology to produce a modeling tool to help health personnel with the challenge of mass dispensing of medical supplies in an emergency. The software, known as RealOpt (include our link), has decision support capabilities for modeling and optimizing the public health infrastructure for hazardous emergency response. It is designed for use in biological and radiological preparedness, for disease outbreaks planning and response, and for natural disasters planning. RealOpt helps officials plan for dispensing facilities locations, to ensure optimal facility staffing and allocation of resources, including routing of the population and dispensing modalities, according to Eva Lee, a professor at the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, and director of the Center for Operations Research in Medicine and Health Care at the school. Read the full article

CTV news: March 11, 2012. Japan's Tsunami Anniversary, A Year Since Disaster Struck Dr. Lee, a professor in School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, spoke to CTV News Channel on Sunday, March 11 2012, the one-year anniversary of a powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami that killed more than 19,000 people.
Lee's work focuses on emergency response to all hazards, including biological, nuclear, radiological and chemical incidents. She has worked in this area for more than 9 years, and has spent much of that time focusing on mass casualty mitigation, which involves rapid deployment of medical supplies and medical services, and rapid distribution of food, clean water, etc to affected populations. Professor Eva Lee Professor Eva Lee developed RealOpt, the next generation informatics-analytic system to aid pandemic and biowarfare public health mass dispensing and emergency planning. The system includes a radiological response module that facilities radiological screening and decontamination operations. Particularly pertinent to Japan is her work related to radiological response and population screening and decontamination. Read the full article

Science Newsline Technology: November 14, 2011. Systems Engineers Help Improve Flow of Visitors in Georgia Aquarium's New Dolphin Exhibit More than 1,800 visitors can move smoothly through the Georgia Aquarium's new AT&T Dolphin Tales exhibit, entering and leaving through the same set of doors. Their experience is not by accident though -- before the exhibit opened, logistics experts at the Georgia Institute of Technology carefully studied how guests would move and recommended ways to improve their experiences while minimizing congestion.

Science Daily: July 11, 2011. Quick Test Can Predict Immune Responses to Flu Shots.

Nature Immunology: June 6, 2011. Systems biology of vaccination for seasonal influenza in humans

Nathaniel D Bastian was awarded a 2011 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue a Ph.D. degree in industrial engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. He will be joining the Center as a PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Lee. Nathan is a distinguished honor graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, earning a B.S. degree in engineering management with honors. While at West Point, he was selected as a Fulbright U.S. Student Fellow in Engineering to the Netherlands, where he earned a M.Sc. degree in econometrics and operations research at Maastricht University. As a researcher at Center for Operations Research in Medicine and HealthCare, his primary research interests concern modeling and optimizing health service systems infrastructure. Particularly, Nathan seeks to develop and implement more effective decision-support systems for emergency medical and disaster response evacuation.

Dami Aladesanmi, a high-school intern to our center, was recently awarded the Georgia Tech Presidential Award as an incoming freshman for Fall 2011. Dami is 16 years old and is currently a senior studying at the Center for Advanced Studies in Science, Math and Technology at Wheeler High School, in Marietta, GA. He is an aspiring doctor who is very interested in patient care, but also wants to engage in humanitarian work as well as research. He hopes to major in either Molecular Biology/Biochemistry or Biomedical Engineering. He is also curious about M.D./Ph.D opporunities. He enjoys chorus, his school's environmental club, and volunteering in middle school church service. He loves music, reading, writing, and surfing the Web.

Research Team Probes Cocaine, HIV/AIDS Drug Interactions. Eva Lee, professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and director of the Center for Operations Research in Medicine and Healthcare, is leading the systems modeling and predictive analysis components of a study investigating the biochemical mechanisms behind cocaine and anti-retroviral drug interactions in mouse models of AIDS. Posted January 31, 2011, GT News Room.

The Emory Wheel: January 31, 2011. Cocaine, HIV Therapy Damages Heart, Study Says.

Dr. Eva K. Lee joins a highly integrated and interdisciplinary team conducting research in the newly established Center for Systems Vaccinology at Emory University. August 24, 2010

Dr. Lee was invited to profile some of her research projects in medicine and healthcare in ORMS Today. The article, which appeared in June 2010, was introduced by Peter Horner: "... Another ongoing story in the mainstream media is health care. If anything, the health care bill passed by Congress earlier this year only added fuel to the fire, and the hot topic of health care is sure to be an issue during the fall mid-term elections. However, as Eva Lee points out in her article "Advancing health care on multiple fronts" (page 20), Republicans and Democrats do agree on one thing: health care technology is crucial to improving any health care system."

Dr. Eva Lee was Interviewed by INFORMS, The Science of Better. "When physicians choose radiation to battle cancer and cancerous tumors, they are fighting not just in three dimensions but four -- they must take into account not only the shape and size of the cancer but also the fourth dimension of time in modeling treatment. Hear operations researcher Eva K. Lee, Director of the Center for Operations Research in Medicine and HealthCare at Georgia Tech explain how her O.R. innovations have helped create treatment plans that do a better job healing patients, avoiding radiation damage to healthy tissue, and saving a half billion dollars in related healthcare costs. And hear her reflect on improved homeland security modeling for biological events ranging from the outbreak of the H1N1 flu outbreak to bioterror attacks. By Barry List." Listen to Dr. Lee's interview.

Center graduate student, Amanda Mejia, was selected to receive the 2010 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The selection was based on outstanding abilities and accomplishments, as well as potential to contribute to strengthening the vitality of the U.S. science and engineering enterprise. Amanda is working on her PhD program under the supervision of Dr. Eva Lee. Part of her PhD research focuses on improving patient safety through medical alert management.

Georgia Tech Unveils Next Generation Software System to Aid Pandemic and Biowarfare Public Health Mass Dispensing and Emergency Planning Georgia Tech unveils next generation software system

The Division of Strategic National Stockpile in the Coordinating Offcie for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveils RealOpt-Regional, an interactive online software tool to aid in apportioning and dispensing medical countermeasures. DSNS releases of RealOpt-Regional

Sanford H1N1 vaccination event Michael Radke, Coordinator of the Cities Readiness Initiative at the Portland Public Health and Human Services, used RealOpt to design the H1N1 flu clinic for the October 24 Sanford clinic event. "Planning for vaccination can be very complex,' recalled Mike. "we were able to process 300 vaccinations an hour (many being pediatric that cried, screamed, ran, and otherwise didn't enjoy the process)." "RealOpt provides us with efficient layout and operations foundation, thus allowing us to focus on the customer satisfaction part. Integrating the two offer us smooth operations that in turn help promoting the public relationship." Mike concluded.

ISyE News at Georgia Tech (April 1, 2009) Early Detection in Human Cancer

News Releases at Emory University (January 13, 2009): "Rules for Gene Silencing in Cancer Cells Identified" Human cancers from breast and lung have a common pattern of genes vulnerable to silencing by DNA methylation, researchers at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology have found.

GT News: November 26, 2008 "Researchers discover strategy for predicting the immunity of vaccines" Study reveals how a highly successful vaccine triggers robust immune responses

Science Daily: November 24, 2008 "Strategy For Predicting Immunity Of Vaccines Developed"

2008 INFORMS Honors: "Center NIH Postoctoral Fellow, Kyungduck Cha, received the 2008 George B. Dantzig Dissertation Award Honorable Mention"

INFORMS ANNUAL MEETING eNews DAILY: October 14, 2008. "Center Alumni Paul Brooks Wins Monday's Interactive Session"

The Buffalo News: September 22, 2008. "Drive-through vaccination effort a success in Amherst" 1,385 people receive A booster hepatitis, Eva K. Lee, director of the Center for Operations Research in Medicine and Healthcare at Georgia Institute of Technology, said Amherst's vaccination exercise was the first drive through event that administered a real vaccine to so many people ...

Media Newswire: August 15, 2008. "Enhancing Disaster and Medical Response"

NEWS ROOM at Georgia Tech: August 5, 2008. "Transforming Health Care on Multiple Fronts". The Whistle

Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Mass Dispensing Work is profiled in OR/MS Today, Feb 2008. "Doing Good with Good O.R -- O.R.'s Do-Gooders. National Biodefense -- In Case of Emergency"

Dr. Eva K. Lee is part of a research team that has been awarded more than $31 million dollars over a five year period by Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), a consortium funded by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). (September 2007) >> Read More

Edelman Winner 2007 O.R. in the O.R. Saving lives as well as money, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center earns the Edelman with breakthrough modeling and computational techniques for treating prostate cancer.

Edelman Winner 2007 Dr. Zaider's Summary Speech on operations research advances prostate cancer care

An interview by Alleen Lee from the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing "A Conversation with Dr. Eva Lee".

INFORMS News: May 1, 2007. "New Prostate Cancer Treatment Wins Operations Research Award for Memorial Sloan-Kettering".

Medical Imaging magazine: January 2007. "The Long and Short of Inverse Planning".