Welcome to
Dr. Gardner's Lab

Lauren Gardner

Alton and Sandra Cleveland Professor

Department of Civil and Systems Engineering, WSE

Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health (Joint Appointment)

Director, Center for Systems Science and Engineering

Lauren Gardner is the Alton and Sandra Cleveland Professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and holds a joint appointment In the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is the creator of the interactive web-based dashboard being used by public health authorities, researchers, and the general public around the globe to track the outbreak of the novel coronavirus that spread worldwide beginning in January 2020.

Gardner is a specialist in modeling infectious disease risk, including COVID-19, measles, dengue, Zika, Avian influenza, and other emerging infectious diseases. Her work focuses holistically on virus diffusion as a function of climate, land use, human behavior, mobility and other contributing risk factors. Gardner leads COVID-19 modeling efforts in partnership with U.S. cities to develop customized models to estimate COVID-19 risk at the local level, and to optimize resource allocation for surveillance and targeted testing. Her group also contributes weekly COVID-19 case and death predictions to the CDC’s ensemble forecast through the COVID-19 Forecast Hub. The COVID-19 dashboard, which debuted on January 22, 2020 continues to be cited every day by multiple major media outlets, and has served as a resource for a number of federal agencies, including U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s coronavirus task force. Since its launch, the dashboard has recorded over 200 billion feature requests, which are the number of interactions visitors have with the underlying data available on the site.

Gardner has received research funding from U.S. governmental organizations and philanthropies including NIH, NSF, NASA, the CDC, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. She has published over 100 scholarly articles, letters, communications, and conference proceedings, and supervises a research group of PhD students and post docs. Gardner is an invited member of multiple international professional committees, and reviewer for top-tier journals and grant-funding organizations. She is an invited participant of various scientific advisory committees, including the U.S. Transportation Research Board committees on Network Modeling, Transportation and Health, and Aviation Security and Emergency Management. She has supervised more than 30 students and post-docs, and teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on network modeling and transport systems at Johns Hopkins.

In addition to winning the 2022 Lasker Bloomberg Public Service Award, America’s top medical research prize, for creating the COVID-19 dashboard that became the world’s most trusted source for reliable, real-time data about the pandemic, she was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020; was included on BBC’s 100 Women List 2020: Women who led change; was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business for 2020; was on the Baltimore Sun’s 25 Women to Watch list, 2020; and was among the Baltimore Business Journal’s Best in Tech 2020. She was also a winner of the 2020 Route Fifty Navigator Award, which honors individuals and teams who, while working with or in state, county, or municipal governments, demonstrate their ability to implement a great idea that improves public sector services and the communities they serve. She was also one of six Johns Hopkins experts who briefed congressional staff about the novel coronavirus outbreak during a Capitol Hill event in early March 2020,

Prior to joining JHU in 2019, Gardner was a senior lecturer in civil engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, in Australia. She received her BSArchE in architectural engineering, her MSE in civil engineering, and her PhD in transportation engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.


My research focuses on advancing the state-of-art in data-driven epidemic planning and decision making in order to provide outbreak assessment and control recommendations based on best available evidence. Most notably, I lead the efforts behind the interactive web-based dashboard being used by public health authorities, researchers, and the general public around the globe to track the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in 2020.

For a comprehensive list of my publications, please refer to my Google Scholar.



National Science Foundation (NSF) “RAISE: IHBEM: Modeling Dynamic Disease-Behavior Feedbacks for Improved Epidemic Prediction and Response”. 10/01/2022 – 09/30/2025. Award ID: 2229996

Bloomberg Philanthropies, City Data Analytics Initiative. Aug 2021 – Aug 2024.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) SHEPheRD Project: Center for Accelerating Modeling Uptake. Contract number: 200-2016-91781. 2021-2024.

National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID “Real-time Forecasting of COVID-19 risk in the USA”. 2021-2022. Award ID: 2108526

Centers for Civic Impact (CCI). “A Multi-Scale Covid-19 Risk Model for Orleans Parish” May-Dec 2020.

CDC BAA – Virus Genomics and Human Mobility Reveal the Patterns SARS-CoV-2 Spread.  Collaboration with Yale School of Public Health. Project Period: 9/1/2020 – 8/31/2022.

National Institute of Health (NIH), “Consortium for Viral Systems Biology (CViSB)”. Collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute and UCLA. Grant Number: 3U19AI135995-03S1. 2020 –2021.

NASA COVID-19 Supplement to “Environmental Determinants of Enteric Infectious Disease: a GEO platform for analysis and risk assessment”. 2020

National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID “Development of an interactive web-based dashboard to track COVID-19 in real-time”. 2020. Award ID: 2028604


  • “Introduction to Network Modeling” (EN560.453, EN560.653), Department of Civil and Systems Engineering, Fall

Current Team

  • Ensheng Dong, PhD candidate
  • Hongru Du, PhD candidate
  • Maximilian Marshall, PhD candidate
  • Sonia Jindal, PhD candidate
  • Kristen Nixon, PhD candidate
  • Naomi Rankin, PhD Candidate
  • Samee Saiyed, Research Assistant
  • Andreas Nearchou, Research Assistant


Select Awards

    1. “Lessons from the COVID data wizards”, Nature, March 23, 2022, url: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00792-2
    2. “What Happens When the World’s Most Popular COVID-19 Dashboard Can’t Get Data?”, TIME (online), September 29, 2021, url: https://time.com/6101967/covid-19-data-gaps/
    3. “15 Minutes with Dr. Lauren Gardner,” Healthywomen, April 15, 2021, url: https://www.healthywomen.org/your-health/lauren-gardner
    4. “2021 Groundbreaking Women List,” Worth, February 18, 2021, url: https://www.worth.com/groundbreakers-2021/
    5. “How Science Beat the Virus and What It Lost in the Process”, The Atlantic – online December 14, 2020 and print January/February 2021 issue, url: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/01/science-covid-19-manhattan-project/617262/
    6. “BBC 100 Women 2020”, BBC (online) November 24, 2020 url: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-55042935
    7. “The Best Inventions of 2020: 2020’s Go-To Data Source – Johns Hopkins Corona­virus Resource Center”, TIME (online), November 19, 2020, url: https://time.com/collection/best-inventions-2020/5911434/johns-hopkins-coronavirus-resource-center/
    8. 2020 Route Fifty Navigator Award, November 2020 url: https://www.route-fifty.com/management/2020/09/winners-2020-navigator-awards/168408/
    9. “The ReaLIST 2020: Meet the 20 most influential technologists in Baltimore”, Technical.ly Baltimore, November 16, 2020, url: https://technical.ly/baltimore/2020/11/16/reallist-engineers-20200-influential-technologists/
    10. 2020 Citation for Leadership and Achievement -awarded by the Board of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP), November 2020, url: https://www.sciencepresidents.org/leadership-citation
    11. Most Innovative Work by a Healthcare Organization – awarded by Healthcare Internet Hall of Fame, November 2020, url: https://hihof.com/2020/11/2020-healthcare-internet-hall-of-fame-inductees-announced/
    12. “25 Women to Watch 2020”, The Baltimore Sun, October 21, 2020 url: https://www.baltimoresun.com/features/women-to-watch/bs-fe-women-to-watch-2020-web-20201019-dwopgd3uffcirgk44pcvwieoqq-story.html
    13. “The Most Influential People of 2020”, TIME, September 2020 (online and magazine), url: https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2020/5888182/lauren-gardner/
    14. “Johns Hopkins’s COVID-19 dashboard alerted us to trouble ahead. Meet the woman who made it”, Fast Company, August 2020 (online)/September 2020 (magazine), url: https://www.fastcompany.com/90525437/most-creative-people-2020-lauren-gardner
    15. “Johns Hopkins’ dashboard: The people behind the pandemic’s most visited site”, CNN, July 2020 url: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/07/11/health/johns-hopkins-covid-19-map-team-wellness-trnd/index.html
    16. “Best in Tech 2020 – Lauren Gardner, Johns Hopkins University”, Baltimore Business Journal, June 2020 url: https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2020/06/26/bbj-best-in-tech-2020-lauren-gardner-john-hopkins.html
    17. “How a Johns Hopkins Professor and Her Chinese Students Tracked Coronavirus”, The Wall Street Journal, May 2020 url: https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-a-johns-hopkins-professor-and-her-chinese-students-tracked-coronavirus-11589016603?mod=mhp
    18. “Behind the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus dashboard”, Nature Index, April 2020 url: https://www.natureindex.com/news-blog/behind-johns-hopkins-university-coronavirus-dashboard
    19. Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Briefing on Capitol Hill, March 2020, C-SPAN url: https://www.c-span.org/video/?470092-1/johns-hopkins-university-coronavirus-briefing
    20. “Coronavirus: How U.S. hospitals are preparing for COVID-19, and what leading health officials say about the virus”, 60 Minutes (CBS News), March 2020 url: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-containment-dr-jon-lapook-60-minutes-2020-03-08/
    21. “Here’s How Computer Models Simulate the Future Spread of New Coronavirus”, Scientific American, February 2020 url: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/heres-how-computer-models-simulate-the-future-spread-of-new-coronavirus/
    22. 200+ Local, national and international news articles referencing U.S. Measles Risk Model published in Lancet Inf Dis. Please see subset: https://systems.jhu.edu/portfolio/measles/
    23. “Mapping the contagion”, feature article in Uniken (UNSW’s flagship magazine), Spring 2012, Issue 66. http://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/science-technology/mapping-contagion
    24. “Scientists wrestle with possibility of second Zika-spreading mosquito” by Susan Milius, May 16, 2016. url: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/scientists-wrestle-possibility-second-zika-spreading-mosquito