Group Members

Laith Abu-Raddad
Laith Abu-Raddad, PhD
Professor of Population Health Sciences
Director, Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Biomathematics Research Core
Assistant Dean for Extramural Research Funding
Infectious Disease Epidemiology Group
Department of Population Health Sciences

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Abu-Raddad is a Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research and Director of the Biostatistics and Biomathematics Research Core at WCM-Q. He focuses on studying the epidemiological factors and population processes shaping infectious disease spread in human and animal populations. He joined WCM-Q in 2008 while serving as an Assistant Professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, USA. He held positions as Research Scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington; as Postdoctoral Research Associate at Imperial College London, United Kingdom and as NSF-JSPS Postdoctoral Research Associate at Osaka University, Japan. He completed his Ph.D. study in Computational and Mathematical Physics at Florida State University. He serves as a consultant or advisory member for a number of key public health projects for organizations such as the World Bank, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and World Health Organization.

Dr. Abu-Raddad's research interests are multidisciplinary with emphasis on studying the epidemiology and ecology of infectious diseases using analytical and computational approaches in addition to conventional epidemiologic study designs. He was the lead author or co-investigator of several high impact studies in recent years such as in relation to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis C virus and SARS. His current main research interests include studying the spread of sexually transmitted infections such as HIV/AIDS, HSV-2 and HPV; investigating the role of biological cofactors in HIV epidemiology; assessment of the impact of different HIV interventions such as vaccines and male circumcision; studying the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in the Arab and Muslim Worlds; studying tuberculosis epidemiology and assessing the impact of novel TB diagnostics, drug regimens and vaccines; studying the epidemiology of hepatitis C virus in the Middle East and North Africa; simulation of community randomized controlled trials and studying the ecology of multiple-strain infectious diseases.

Hiam Chemaitelly
Hiam Chemaitelly, MSc
Senior Epidemiologist Supervisor

Curriculum Vitae 

Hiam Chemaitelly is an Epidemiologist currently holding the position of Research Specialist at IDEG at the Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar (WCM-Q). She is involved in the conduct of scientific studies using mathematical modeling and conventional epidemiologic methods in relation to infectious disease epidemiology research. Her emphasis is on studying the HIV epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa including developing and understanding of the role of biological cofactors in HIV epidemiology, analyzing and understanding the patterns of HIV sero-discordancy among stable sexual partnerships, assessing the role of sero-discordant partnerships in fueling the HIV epidemic and examining the impact of HIV interventions on reducing HIV incidence among sero-discordant couples. In addition to using mathematical models, she is involved in the data management and statistical analysis of different datasets such as the Demographic Health Surveys (DHS) and the HIV Biomarker Surveys for multiple countries.

Susanne Awad
Susanne Awad, MSc
Research Associate in Population Health Sciences

Curriculum Vitae 

Susanne Awad is a Biomedical Engineer currently holding the position of Research Specialist at IDEG at the Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar (WCM-Q). She is currently involved in studying the epidemiology of infectious diseases through the use of mathematical modeling. More specifically, her research project focuses on the development of mathematical models to understand the role of sexual network structure in HIV epidemiology and the impact of different forms of heterogeneity in such networks. The research project also aims to develop models to describe the impact of different HIV intervention strategies. Prior to joining WCM-Q, Susanne was an Engineer at Ibn Annafees Medical Company in Qatar. Her earlier research activities focused on the simulation of new non-invasive procedures to remove tumour cells using laser diodes. Susanne earned her M.Sc. Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark.

Adona Canlas
Adona Canlas
Administrative Officer

Curriculum Vitae 

Adona Canlas holds the position of Research Group Administrator at IDEG at the Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar. She provides administrative support to the group’s research activities for several research projects. She is also involved in the maintenance of procedures as they relate to grants, contracts, and other administrative tasks.

Prior to joining IDEG, Adona worked as an Executive Secretary and Document Controller at SPK Construction in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She also held the position of Mathematics Instructor at the University of the Philippines and Roosevelt Science High School in Rizal, Philippines. Adona earned her B.Sc. degree in Mathematics from the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, Philippines.

Soha Dargham
Soha Dargham, MPH
Epidemiologist / Senior Biostatistician

Curriculum Vitae 

Soha Dargham is a Biostatistician, currently holding the position of Research Specialist at the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Biomathematics Research Core at the Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q). Soha contributes to study design of projects ranging from clinical trials to observational studies as well as instrument design, sample size calculations and power analyses. She also conducts various statistical analyses such as bivariate and multivariable regressions using both parametric and non-parametric tests. In addition, Soha contributes to the educational activities at the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Biomathematics Research Core through instruction and organization of training seminars and workshops offered to different audiences at WCM-Q.

Prior to joining WCM-Q, Soha held the position of Administrative Intern at the Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Program at the Houston Methodist Hospital at the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, USA. She promoted research partnerships, implemented quality nurse-led research, collaborated on nursing research projects (development of database, data collection and analysis, and report writing), and identified nursing research priorities to strengthen the research climate and infrastructure. Soha earned her MPH, specializing in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Manale Harfouche
Manale Harfouche, MPH
Senior Research Specialist

Curriculum Vitae 

Manale Harfouche is an Epidemiologist currently holding the position of Research Specialist at IDEG at the Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar (WCM-Q). She is involved in characterizing the epidemiology of different infectious diseases. Manale’s current research focuses on systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and meta-regressions, as well as other data syntheses, for sexually transmitted infections and viral hepatitis.

Prior to joining WCM-Q, Manale was affiliated with the American University of Beirut Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (AUB GRADE) center in Lebanon. Her earlier research activities focused on the adaptation of the 2015 American College of Rheumatology guidelines for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis to the Middle East and North Africa region. Manale earned her MPH degree specializing in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.

Monia Makhoul
Monia Makhoul, PhD
Postdoctoral Associate/Mathematical Modeler

Curriculum Vitae

Monia Makhoul is a Mathematical Modeler and is currently holding the position of Postdoctoral Associate at the Infectious Diseases Epidemiology Group (IDEG) at the Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q). Her research mainly focuses on mathematical modelling in relation to infectious disease epidemiology. Monia is currently working on modelling the transmission dynamics of different infectious diseases.

Prior to joining IDEG, Monia completed her PhD in Mechanics at the University of Avignon et de Pays de Vaucluse. Her doctoral dissertation was focused on the modelling of particles transport in a Stokes flow with ratchet effect. She earned her Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics and Modelling at the Picardie Jules Verne University and another Master’s degree in Fundamental Mathematics at the Lebanese University.

Sawsan AlMukdad
Sawsan AlMukdad, MSc
Research Specialist

Curriculum Vitae

Sawsan AlMukdad is currently holding the position of Research Specialist at IDEG at the Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar (WCM-Q). She is conducting epidemiological research, with a primary focus on sexually transmitted infections, using state-of-the-art methodologies and tools such as meta-analyses, meta-regressions, and advanced statistical analyses. In addition, she is involved in the national study group for COVID-19.

Sawsan received her master’s degree with distinction from the College of Pharmacy, Qatar University in 2020. Prior to joining WCM-Q, her research interest focuses on health economics and outcome research. She had the opportunity to participate in undergraduate research projects, including the Undergraduate Research Experience Program, as well as she got awarded the Graduate Sponsorship Research Award by the Qatar National Research Fund. She was able to successfully publish several articles in peer reviewed journals

Alex Smolak
Alex Smolak, PhD

Curriculum Vitae 

Alex Smolak is a Consultant with IDEG working on bacterial sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in MENA. His expertise lies in several areas of infectious disease epidemiology with emphasis on quantitative methods, such as analyses of large hierarchical datasets, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and meta-regressions. His analytical perspective stresses the importance of social structures and social determinants of health to understand disease patterns and barriers to uptake of interventions. He provides technical expertise on different aspects of the research and its translation to policy and programming products.

Alex’s scientific research has been published in leading specialty journals such as JAIDS and AIDS and Behavior. His commentary and work has received press in respected outlets such as Nature Middle East and the International AIDS Society. He has received funding from National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Fulbright among others. Most of his research has been conducted with Muslim populations in MENA, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. Alex completed his PhD degree in Social Work at Columbia University in 2013. He also holds a MPHIL in Social Work (2012) from Columbia University, Master of Social Work (2006) from University of Washington and B.A. in Psychology (2004) from The Evergreen State College.