I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Megan Murray. I particularly was intrigued by her distinction between modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors, and how socioeconomic status factors into one's epidemiological risk. For example, she discusses the ethics of the "shifting the blame" of the disease onto the diseased, given equity is a very important notion to keep in mind as we discuss public health. AG and MM discuss the roots of this connecting all the way back to the Cholera outbreak, its associated limited access to clean water, and the necessity of those in the neighborhood to drink the diseased water.
The most surprising bit of information I learned was how epidemiologists can model more complex situations with other tools than an SIR model, which assumes that everybody acts the same way, in her words. In other words, you can add many different risk factors in other models, which can be useful but can also be much messier.
If I had conducted the interview, I would have asked her more about her research to evaluate projects designed to improve health systems in LMICs including in Rwanda and Madagascar, as I read about on her website. For this work, she focuses on developing observational methods to assess complex district level interventions. I would love to know what she's learned from this that we can potentially model on local levels in the US.