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Albert Ko, MD

Raj and Indra Nooyi Professor of Public Health and Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) and of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)

Research Summary

Dr. Ko’s research centers on the health problems that have emerged as a consequence of rapid urbanization and social inequity. He coordinates a research and training program on urban slum health in Brazil and conducts prospective cohort studies on leptospirosis, dengue, meningitis and respiratory infections. His research combines multidisciplinary epidemiology, ecology and translational research-based approaches to identify prevention and control strategies that can be implemented in slum communities. More recently, Dr. Ko and his team has mobilized the public health research capacity at their site in the city of Salvador to investigate the on-going outbreak of Zika virus infection and microcephaly.

Specialized Terms: Urban slum health, Leptospirosis; Dengue; Bacterial meningitis; Vaccine preventable diseases; Zika viral infections

Extensive Research Description

  • Disease determinants for urban leptospirosis
  • Rapid serodiagnostic test for leptospirosis
  • Natural history of urban leptospirosis
  • Transmission of drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae in Brazil
  • Genome-level protein microarray serodiagnostic antigen discovery in leptospirosis
  • Transmission dynamics of arboviral diseases including Zika, dengue and chikungunya
  • Natural history of congenital Zika syndrome
  • Randomized controlled trials to evaluate the effectiveness of vector control interventions on arboviral diseases
  • Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellows Program

Research Interests

Dengue; Epidemiology; Leptospirosis; Urban Health; Global Health; Meningitis, Bacterial; Infectious Disease Medicine

Public Health Interests

Epidemiology Methods; Global Health; Infectious Diseases; Maternal & Child Health; Zoonotic Diseases; Health Equity, Disparities, Social Determinants and Justice; COVID-19

Research Images

Selected Publications