My projects span at least four research topics. Scroll below to find out more about the research activities of the Computational Epidemiology Lab on each research topic.

Click on the link above to quickly jump to the details for a specific research topic or project within a topic.

Reproductive HealthFood InsecurityOpioid CrisisCOVID-19
Arab American Reproductive HealthSmart FoodshedsFOCALCOVID-19 Analytics and
Targeted Surveillance Systems (CATS) for
School Districts
Community Based System Dynamics for Reproductive Health Transforming the Food Environment for Better Health: A Systems ApproachOhio HEALing Communities StudyEquity Mapping Tool
Systems Modeling of Infant Mortality in OhioOpioid Simulation Modeling

Reproductive Health


The Arab American Reproductive Health in Ohio Study

This project seeks to identify barriers that Arab American pregnant and birthing people face and help organizational decision-makers make a plan to address those barriers. This project was recently funded and is in the planning stages.

Community Based System Dynamics (CBSD) for Reproductive Health Policy in Ohio

This project seeks to answer the following question “How do social determinants of health, biases, attitudes, cultural norms, laws, and policies in urban Ohio impact access to and use of reproductive and other health services (e.g. contraception, abortion, prenatal care, birth care), pregnancy, and maternal and child health?”.

We used the CBSD approach, system dynamics modeling, and policy simulation tools to answer this questions with decision-makers from across urban Ohio settings. More information about this project is available in the publications below and the project page here at the Ohio Policy Evaluation Network.

  • Hyder A, Smith M, Sealy-Jefferson S, Hood R, Chettri S, Dundon A, Underwood A, Bassett D, and Norris AH. Community based systems dynamics for reproductive health: A case study from urban Ohio. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action. In press. Available from: community-based-systems-dynamics-reproductive-health-example-urban-ohio-usa.
  • Hyder A, Hightower R, Smith M, Hood R, Chettri S, Underwood A, and Norris AH. What policies may eliminate racial inequities in infant mortality and other outcomes in the reproductive health system? A participatory modeling study. Manuscript in progress.

Other publications on this research topic:

  • Hyder A and Barnett KS. Low birth weight and preterm birth among Arab-American women in Ohio. Maternal and Child Health Journal 2021; 25(4):574–83. doi: 10.1007/s10995-020-03095-y.


Systems Modeling of Infant Mortality in Ohio

This project aimed to develop a systems understanding and models of infant mortality and preterm birth among the Ohio Medicaid population of women of reproductive age. These models were used to evaluate the impact of strategies that Ohio Department of Medicaid could implement to reduce the overall burden and eliminate inequities in infant mortality rates among Black babies and White babies in Ohio.

  • Hosseinichimeh N, MacDonald R, Hyder A, Ebrahimvandi A, Porter L, Reno R, Maurer J, Andersen DL, Richardson G, Hawley J, and Andersen DF. Group model building techniques for rapid elicitation of parameter values, effect sizes, and data sources. System Dynamics Review 2017; 33(1):71–84. doi: 10.1002/sdr.1575.
  • Hyder A. Reducing infant mortality in Ohio: Individuals, communities, systems, and interventions: All Babies Matter Simulation model for Infant Mortality or “ABM-Sim4IM”. Agent-based modeling report that was not allowed to be submitted for peer-review by funder is available at this link. 2017. Available from: uploads/2017/11/IMRP-Final-Report_6-30-2017_FINAL-003.pdf.
  • Reno R and Hyder A. The evidence base for social determinants of health as risk factors for infant mortality: A systematic scoping review. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2018; 29(4):1209–39. doi: 10.1353/hpu.2018.0091.
Targeted Investment and Meaningful Engagement to Improve MCH Outcomes and Rectify Historical Structural Racism: The TIME Study
Description: The aim of this study is to assess the impacts of a re-investment initiative designed to make such improvements in Columbus Ohio’s Linden neighborhood, a historically disinvested community that has been devastated by decades of discriminatory race-based policies.

Food Insecurity


Smart Foodshed Research Coordination Network/ICICLE AI Institute

These projects seek to help food system actors discover data from across the foodshed to build a more resilient foodshed and address data literacy and model literacy barriers using conversational AI tools.

  • Hollander AD, Hoy C, Huber PR, Hyder A, Lange MC, Latham A, Quinn JF, Riggle CM, and Tomich TP. Toward smart foodsheds: Using stakeholder engagement to improve informatics frameworks for regional food systems. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 2020; 110(2):535–46. doi: 10.1080/24694452.2019.1662764.
  • Hyder A, Blatt A, Hollander AD, Hoy C, Huber PR, Lange MC, Quinn JF, Riggle CM, Sloan R, and Tomich TP. Design and implementation of a workshop for evaluation of the role of power in shaping and solving challenges in a Smart Foodshed. Sustainability 2022; 14(5). doi: 10.3390/su14052642.


Transforming the Food Environment for Better Health: A Systems Approach

A systems approach provides a novel methodology to integrate across complex features of the food environment. We apply this approach using data collected by the Food Mapping Team in Columbus, Ohio to identify transformative and effective policies for better health.

  • Koh K, Kaiser ML, Sweeney G, Samadi K, and Hyder A. Explaining racial inequality in food security in Columbus, Ohio: A blinder–oaxaca decomposition analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2020; 17(15):1–15. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17155488.
  • Koh K, Reno R, and Hyder A. Examining disparities in food accessibility among households in Columbus, Ohio: An agent-based model. Food Security 2019; 11(2):317–31. doi: 10.1007/s12571-019-00900-7.
  • Koh K, Reno R, and Hyder A. Designing an agent-based model using group model building: Application to food insecurity patterns in a U.S. Midwestern metropolitan city. Journal of Urban Health 2018; 95(2):278–89. doi: 10.1007/s11524-018-0230-1.

The Opioid Crisis


FOCAL (Franklin County Opioid Activity Levels Map)

This project consists of multiple studies that collectively aim to break down data silos and build data analytics and modeling tools to support shared decision-making in the complex opioid crisis.

  • Freisthler B, Hyder A, Lancaster KE, Louden EM, and Rinderle AM. Response to ”COVID-19 economic impact payments and opioid overdose deaths”. International Journal of Drug Policy 2022 :103713. doi:
  • Li Y, Miller HJ, Root ED, Hyder A, and Liu D. Understanding the role of urban social and physical environment in opioid overdose events using found geospatial data. Health and Place 2022; 75. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2022.102792.
  • Hyder A, Lee J, Dundon A, Southerland LT, All D, Hammond G, and Miller HJ. Opioid treatment deserts: Concept development and application in a US Midwestern urban county. PLoS ONE 2021; 16(5 May). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0250324.
  • Li Y, Hyder A, Southerland LT, Hammond G, Porr A, and Miller HJ. 311 service requests as indicators of neighborhood distress and opioid use disorder. Scientific Reports 2020; 10(1). doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-76685-z.
  • Hyder A, Miller H, Southerland L, Trinh A, Harlow K, and Hammond G. Partnerships, development, and implementation of an opioid policy planning tool in Franklin County, Ohio. In progress.

Ohio HEALing Communities Study

This multi-site project aims to collaborate with participating communities to collect data that will inform how to support local efforts to reduce opioid misuse and overdose deaths. I lead the Ohio simulation modeling workgroup in this study.

  • Walsh SL et al. The HEALing (Helping to End Addiction Long-term SM) Communities Study: Protocol for a cluster randomized trial at the community level to reduce opioid overdose deaths through implementation of an integrated set of evidence-based practices. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2020; 217:108335. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108335.
  • Aldridge AP, Barbosa C, Barocas JA, Bush JL, Chhatwal J, Harlow KJ, Hyder A, Linas BP, McCollister KE, Morgan JR, Murphy SM, Savitzky C, Schackman BR, Seiber EE, E Starbird L, Villani J, and Zarkin GA. Health economic design for cost, cost-effectiveness and simulation analyses in the HEALing Communities Study. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2020; 217. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108336.

Opioid Simulation Modeling

I have collaborated with other modelers to conduct systematic reviews on opioid simulation models.

  • Cerda M, Jalali MS, Hamilton AD, Digennaro C, Hyder A, Santaella-Tenorio J, Kaur N, Wang C, and Keyes KM. A systematic review of simulation models to track and address the opioid crisis. Epidemiologic Reviews 2021; 43(1):147–65. doi: 10.1093/epirev/mxab013.
  • Beaulieu E, DiGennaro C, Stringfellow E, Connolly A, Hamilton A, Hyder A, Cerda M, Keyes KM, and Jalali MS. Economic evaluation in opioid modeling: Systematic review. Value in Health 2021; 24(2):158–73. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2020.07.013.



COVID-19 Analytics and Targeted Surveillance Systems (CATS) for School Districts

The aims of this project were to inform school leaders about emerging trends in COVID-19 cases in their school district, surrounding districts, and county and to inform students and parents about the rationale for decisions made about changes to learning strategies during the school year (e.g., online, hybrid, or in-person).

  • Hyder A, Trinh A, Padmanabhan P, Marschhausen J, Wu A, Evans A, Iyer R, and Jones A. COVID-19 surveillance for local decision making: An academic, school district, and public health collaboration. Public Health Reports  2021; 136(4):403–12. doi: 10.1177/00333549211018203.

Equity Mapping Tool

This project aims to engage, extend, and enhance the Equity Mapping Tool for Community Health Workers (CHWs) in participating HUBs and Local Health Departments (LHDs). and To train CHWs in participating HUBs and LHDs how to use the Equity Mapping Tool in the day-to-day delivery of services and in support of the COVID-19 public health response.

  • Hyder A, Graffagnino G, Barbeau R, Dent L, Glover A, Jones A, McAdams J, Nawaz S, Wontumi GM, and Baryeh N. Addressing health equity goals for COVID-19 vaccination using integrated data and mapping tools: A collaboration between academia, public health, and healthcare systems in Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. In press.


Pandemic is not over yet!