NYU-Moi Data Science for Social Determinants Training Program receives funding from the National Institutes of Health

Led by CDS affiliated faculty Rumi Chunara, NYU has partnered with Brown University in Rhode Island and Moi University in Kenya to spearhead a data science training program called the NYU-Moi Data Science for Social Determinants Training Program (DSSD). The program is one of 19 initiatives that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is supporting in an effort to advance data science, catalyze innovation, and spur health discoveries across Africa. The DSSD training program received an award of $1.7 million over the course of five years. The funding will be used to train graduate students, postdocs, and faculty from Moi University at NYU, and establish data science graduate degree programs at Moi University.

Chunara and her team implemented the DSSD training program to cultivate future leaders in data science who are equipped to gather and analyze data to capture information on the social determinants of health. Given the interdisciplinary nature of data science, this is a cross-school and department endeavor at NYU, including researchers from the Center for Data Science, Courant, NYU Global Public Health, Wagner, the Center for Urban Science and Progress, and the Grossman School of Medicine.

The program is also connecting with the data science industry and academic organizations with a presence in Kenya. These organizations include, but are not limited to, IBM, Deep Learning Indaba, DataKind, AI.Kenya, and Aga Khan University Nairobi and Karachi.

Given these partnerships, the program seeks to unite trainees from data science and health backgrounds to develop solid foundations and advance innovation within Kenyan institutions.

“To develop best practices in treatment and analytics for health outcomes, social determinants must be part of the data mix because they provide context on broader forces impinging on the health both of individuals and for communities. I want to thank the NIH for their acknowledgment of this. Besides advancing local efforts in Kenya in data science and health, we also envision our program will augment global knowledge on data science practices,” says Chunara.

Written by Keerthana Manivasakan

Official account of the Center for Data Science at NYU, home of the Undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs in Data Science.