Johns Hopkins University, USA
Lauren Gardner, associate professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, is the creator of the interactive web-based dashboard being used by public health authorities, researchers, and the general public around the globe to track the outbreak of COVID-19 that has spread worldwide since early January, infecting millions and killing more than 500,000 people. The dashboard, which debuted on January 22, has been shared by practically every major news outlet worldwide and now receives billions of usage requests per day. Because of her expertise, Gardner was one of six Johns Hopkins experts who briefed congressional staff about the outbreak during a Capitol Hill event in early March 2020. Gardner is co-director of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering and affiliated faculty in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prior to joining JHU in 2019, Gardner was a senior lecturer in civil engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, in Australia. Her research expertise is in integrated transport and epidemiological modeling. Beyond mobility, her work focuses more holistically on virus diffusion as a function of climate, land use, mobility, and other contributing risk factors. She obtained her PhD in engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.