James Azam, PhD

Junior Researcher

Research theme: Rapid Response to Emerging Threats

James Azam is currently employed on a 6-months contract as a Junior Researcher at SACEMA. He recently completed a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Stellenbosch University (through SACEMA) with a project that involved a systematic review of outbreak response models of human vaccine-preventable diseases and foot-and-mouth disease, and modelling analyses of outbreak response strategies for responding to a measles outbreak using outside cold chain strategies and a hypothetical disease that faces the risk of variant emergence. His PhD project was supervised by Prof. Juliet Pulliam (SACEMA director) and Prof. Matt Ferrari (Penn State University). James holds a master’s degree in Mathematics from Stellenbosch University (through SACEMA), a Structured Master’s degree from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Senegal, and a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana. He has tutored courses at SACEMA, and the Mathematics Departments of Stellenbosch University and KNUST. He has research interests in outbreak response modelling and analytics, health data science/analytics, science policy and communication. As a Junior Researcher, he will contribute to an ongoing project involving the development of a routine surveillance pipeline for monitoring and flagging changes in COVID-19 severity in South Africa, participating in SACEMA’s Modelling and Analytics Response Team (SMART), contributing to some short courses and training activities, and publishing previous work from his PhD.

Recent publications

Azam JM, Saitta B, Bonner K, Ferrari MJ, Pulliam JCR (2021) Modelling the relative benefits of using the measles vaccine outside cold chain for outbreak response Vaccine doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2021.08.053

Kent BA, Holman C, Amoako E, Antonietti A, Azam JM, Ballhausen H, Bediako Y, Belasen AM, Carneiro CFD, Chen Y, Compeer EB, Connor CAC, Crüwell S, Debat H, Dorris E, Ebrahimi H, Erlich JC, Fernández-Chiappe F, Fischer F, Gazda MA, Glatz T, Grabitz P, Heise V, Kent DG, Lo H, McDowell G, Mehta D, Neumann WJ, Neves K, Patterson M, Penfold NC, Piper SK, Puebla I, Quashie PK, Carolina, Quezada CP, Riley JL, Rohmann JL, Saladi S, Schwessinger B, Siegerink B, Stehlik P, Tzilivaki A, Umbers KDL, Varma A, Walavalkar K, de Winde CM, Zaza C, Weissgerber T (2021) Empowering Early Career Researchers to Improve Science doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/p5evw

Czachu MV, Todd M, Loureiro GT, Azam JM, Nyeleka S, Alblas A, Davies SJ (2021) Opening the floor for discussion: A perspective on how scholars perceive attitudes to science in policymaking in South Africa South African Journal of Science doi.org/10.17159/sajs.2021/7948

Azam, J.M., E.B. Are, X. Pang, M.J. Ferrari, & J.R.C. Pulliam (2020) Outbreak response intervention models of vaccine-preventable diseases in humans and foot-and-mouth disease in livestock: a protocol for a systematic review. BMJ Open 10(10) doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2019-036172

DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence in Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis