Olya Morozova is an applied mathematician by training. In her native Ukraine, she found a niche for her skills in two NGOs, first working on HIV prevention, then on tuberculosis control. As she moved up the ladder, she found that management responsibilities were taking her away from the work she loved. Through that work, however, she met Yale professor, Rick Altice, who advised her to consider doctoral studies in epidemiology.
Now a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Olya is diving deep into epidemiology and modeling. In addition to her dissertation research, Olya works with Associate Professor, Forrest Crawford, to develop statistical methods to analyze contagious outcomes. “Many in infectious disease research, still apply analytic methods that ignore contagion,” explains Olya. “They keep using classic methods despite their being unsuitable for problems at hand.” Olya presented this research at the Joint Statistical Meeting last summer and expects the paper to be published early this year.
For her dissertation research, Olya is using data from Professor Altice’s studies among people who use drugs in Ukraine to model the cost-effectiveness of opioid treatment integration into primary care and provision of a new form of injected extended-release naltrexone administered just once a month. In a country, such as Ukraine, where the primary means of HIV transmission is intravenous drug use, strategies to stem opioid use are particularly important. With a new and progressive minister of health in Ukraine, Olya hopes that work like this can have impact sooner rather than later.