Robyn Lee, PhD, is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow working with Dr. Bill Hanage in the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics (CCDD), at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her overall research aim is to integrate modern epidemiologic methods, genomics, and bioinformatics to understand the epidemiology of infectious diseases.
Dr. Lee completed a PhD in Epidemiology at McGill University (Canada) in 2016, where she investigated Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission and risk factors for disease during a major outbreak in the Canadian Arctic. With a background in Intensive Care nursing, Dr. Lee also assisted clinically with the public health response to this outbreak, performing contact tracing, and testing for latent TB infection as well as clinical disease. She also coordinated two case-control studies in this region.
After her PhD, to further develop her skills in bioinformatics and gain experience with pathogens outside TB, Dr. Lee moved to the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit (MDU) Public Health Laboratory of The University of Melbourne (Australia). At the MDU, she completed a one year Post-Doc in Bioinformatics, focusing on genomic epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance of community and hospital-acquired infections, such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae and vancomycin-resistant enterococci.
At the CCDD, Dr. Lee will investigate new approaches for inferring infectious disease transmission using genomic data, and apply these to pathogens of public health importance, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and M. tuberculosis. Her aim is to increase our understanding of the transmission dynamics of these pathogens, and identify strain and patient factors associated with transmissibility, to better inform public health. Dr. Lee holds a Fellowship from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2017-2020).