Rafael Lopes

Rafael Lopes, PhD

Postdoc Associate | Yale School of Public Health | Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases
Public Health Modeling Unit | 350 George St. | New Haven, CT 06510
Email: [email protected] | Twitter | Profile

BS in Physics – University of Campinas, Brazil
MS and Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics – São Paulo State University, Brazil

I was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city and a cultural melting pot, with hundreds of different communities from many places in Brazil as well as from around the world. Although being accepted to my undergrad studies at the university in the city, I decided to do a bachelor’s in Physics at the University of Campinas.

During my undergrad, I’ve always had an eagerness to study different problems other than the typical ones of physics. At my master’s, I deep-dived into ecological theory and its formulations through mathematics.

During the first year of my Ph.D., and at the crossroads, if I went for something more epidemiological or stay at theoretical ecology, I got in touch with the Dengue disease data in Brazil and realized how big the problem was in my home country. My first approach to Dengue disease was to forecast it through climate variables. I spent a year at Barcelona Institute for Global Health, learning how, other than only the dynamics of the disease, the climate can affects the outcome of an infection. During the Covid-19 pandemic, together with a group of collaborators, we analyzed the Covid-19 cases and death data, and developed tools to deal with the delays of the notification system.

At Nate’s lab, I want to develop computational models to understand, as well as predict, the ecological succession of variants and its burdens for infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Through data analysis (and lots of bug corrections) of genomic sequences data and epidemiological data, I want to quantify the impacts of these arms race processes and their impacts for public health.
When I’m not coding, I usually like to drink a good coffee, cook, run and read. Discuss about sub-genres of rock and music in general, is one the thing I’ve doing since my teenage years.