Jessica Taaffe, PhD

Associate Scholar

  •   Azerbaijan | Belarus | Georgia | Moldova | Romania | South Africa
  •   Global Health Security | HIV/AIDS | Malaria | OneHealth | Public Health | Tuberculosis

Languages: English (native), Spanish (fluent), French (beginner)

Bio statement

I am a global health and science professional, with a mission to advance global health through scientific practice, communication, and policy/advocacy. My biomedical expertise is in HIV and malaria immunopathogenesis, including in non-human primates. I specialize in the evaluation, translation, and dissemination of scientific evidence for global health policy and practice, and I have published widely on leading global health topics. I work with government, academia, and multilateral organizations such as NIH, UNAIDS, and World Bank. I talk science and global health on popular podcasts and was named among 100 Women Leaders in Global Health by The Graduate Institute Geneva.  

Recent global health projects

I am currently working on an HIV allocative and implementation efficiency study for the government of Uganda for which the World Bank is providing technical support. The scope of the analyses have yet to be determined (traveling in a few weeks to finalize the scope), but we anticipate using the Optima modeling software to determine the best mix of HIV programs and financial investment in them using epidemiological and program cost inputs. Additionally, we will analyze the HIV treatment cascade and look for ways to improve it and address gaps based on programs appropriate for epidemic context.

I also work with the TB Portals Program at NIAID. This Program is a multi-national collaboration between institutions in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. We are collecting clinical, social, genomic, and radiological TB patient data that is consolidated into an online, open-access database platform. The Program has also developed several open-access tools to engage with this rich dataset: TB DEPOT, an advanced search and statistical analysis tool, Genomics Analysis Portal (in progress), specific for our genomics data, and Radiological Analysis Portal, which enables exploration of image data. TB Portals' data and tools can be used by researchers and clinicians to browse unusual and drug-resistant TB cases, preliminarily test hypotheses, and help identify future research for follow-up. It is our desire that this effort will contribute to larger efforts to improve TB diagnostics and treatment.

Selected publications

Taaffe J, and Wilson D. (publication in process) Tailoring the local HIV response to local HIV epidemics. Disease Control Priorities, 3rd Ed: Major Infectious Diseases.  

Taaffe J, Longosz A, and Wilson D (2017) The Impact of Cash Transfers on Livelihoods, Education, Health and HIV — What's the Evidence?. Development Policy Review, 2017 April 20: 1-19. doi: 10.1111/dpr.12253

Bali S and Taaffe J (2017) Exploring the Synergies between the SDGs and Global Health Security Agenda for a Sustainable and Resilient World. Journal of Public Health Policy. May 2017, Volume 38, Issue 2: 257–268. doi: 10.1057/s41271-016-0058-4