Northwestern Events Calendar


Group Affiliation Can Influence Disease Dynamics at Social Events: A Case for Agent-Based Modeling in SGM Health

Joshua Stadlan

When: Thursday, July 25, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: 625 N Michigan Ave, Stonewall Conference Room, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Sarah Quain  

Group: Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH)

Co-Sponsor: Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)

Category: Academic


The CONNECT Program at the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing invites you to a lecture with Joshua Standlan.

This is a hybrid event taking place at our office in Chicago and online. A Zoom link will be sent to all who register to attend virtually.


Recognizing that LGBTQIA+ people and other stigmatized groups experience health outcomes that differ from those of non-stigmatized groups, public health best practices now encourage researchers to consider stigmatized identities in their epidemiological models. But, once individual health conditions and general social determinants are already taken into account, what insight could group membership and its social reception provide in understanding non-STI disease spread? In this talk, I use simple Agent-Based Models (ABMs) to conceptually explore how even differences in socializing patterns of groups at the same social event-based outbreak could influence communicable disease dynamics, let alone differences in broader social contexts.  I also discuss how ABMs allow epidemiologists to consider demographics such as SGMs in their analysis when only aggregate trends are available, such as disease incidence. However, working with ABMs still requires theory and corroborating evidence. I argue that this requirement presents an opportunity to integrate qualitative and quantitative SGM research, to support population health work sensitive to the specific needs and realities of sexual and gender minorities.

About the Speaker

Joshua Stadlan integrates social system models, network data, and lived experience to discover how we can foster more effective, equitable, and ethical public policy. He is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University, where his dissertation research focuses on temporal network models of face-to-face interaction and the evaluation of agent-based models. He worked for over seven years at The MITRE Corporation, which operates R&D centers for the U.S. government, most recently as lead computational social scientist. At MITRE, Josh headed the modeling & socioeconomics team for the Social Justice Platform and conducted COVID-19 simulation research, among other projects in civic analytics. A resident of Cambridge, MA, he serves on the Cambridge Human Rights Commission, the city's anti-discrimination agency.

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