Andrew Holbrook receives NSF early CAREER research award

By Nicole Wilkins

Professor Andrew Holbrook

Andrew Holbrook, an assistant professor in the department of biostatistics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and member of the California NanoSystems Institute, has received the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) CAREER Award for his work building statistical models for the global spread of viruses.

The CAREER Award is the NSF’s most prestigious award for early-career faculty “who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.”

Said Holbrook: “On the surface level, the award feels like a vindication of my ideas and research strategy, which sometimes involves making big jumps into areas outside my core expertise. Now that things have opened back up since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been able to think more about writing grants and actually building something. This award is a helpful start.”

As part of the award, Holbrook will receive over $500,000 funding in support of research that develops viral “evolutionary contagion” models parameterized by flexible neural networks.

A major component of Holbrook’s research will focus on scaling these models to big data settings with the help of graphics processing units (GPUs) and quantum computers.

Holbrook joined UCLA in 2020.