Civil and Systems Engineering Associate Professor
Lauren Gardner
Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Systems Engineering and Co-director, Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University
Welcome to
Professor Lauren Gardner's Group

Lauren Gardner

Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Systems Engineering

Co-director, Center for Systems Science and Engineering

Affiliated Faculty, Infectious Disease Dynamics Group - Bloomberg School of Public Health

CSIRO Visiting Scientist

Lauren Gardner, associate professor in the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, 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. The dashboard, which debuted on January 22, has been shared by practically every major news outlet worldwide and now receives more than 1 billion usage requests per day. Because of her expertise, Gardner was one of six Johns Hopkins experts who briefed congressional staff about the outbreak during a Capitol Hill event in early March 2020.

Gardner is co-director of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering and affiliated faculty in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 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. Her research expertise is in integrated transport and epidemiological modeling. Gardner has previously led related interdisciplinary research projects which utilize network optimization and mathematical modeling to progress the state of the art in global epidemiological risk assessment. Beyond mobility, her work focuses more holistically on virus diffusion as a function of climate, land use, mobility, and other contributing risk factors. On these topics Gardner has received research funding from organizations including NIH, NSF, Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australian Research Council (ARC), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Queensland Health Department, Transport for New South Wales and GoGet Car Share. Outcomes from her research projects have led to publications in leading interdisciplinary and infectious disease journalspresentations at international academic conferences, as well an invited seminars at top-tier Universities and Research Institutes. Gardner is also an invited member of multiple international professional committees, reviewer for top-tier journals and grant funding organizations, and invited participant of various Scientific Advisory Committees. She has also supervised more than 30 students and post-docs, and teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses on network modeling and transport systems.


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.

Research Interest Topics

  • Network modeling
  • Spatial epidemiology
  • Transportation systems

Select Research Projects

  • National Institute of Health (NIH) R21“Integrating human mobility and pathogen genomics to understand dengue dynamics” 2020-2022.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Workshop on “Emerging Technologies for Integrated Surveillance and Diagnosis of Infectious Disease and Bio-Security Threats”
  • JHU Discovery Grant “Integrating Human Mobility and Genomics to Understand Dengue Spatial Dynamics”. Lauren Gardner, Amy Wesolowski & Justin Lessler. 2019-2020
  • JHU Discovery Grant “Johns Hopkins University Living Laboratory for Urban Mobility”. Jeffrey Michael, Johnathon Ehsani, Tak Igusa, Lauren Gardner, John Benson & Bob Bamberger. 2019-2020
  • CSIRO Health and Biosecurity Unit“Dengue Virus Prediction and Eradication through Mobile Data Fusion”. Raja Jurdak, Cassie Jansen, Lauren Gardner, Dean Paini, Fiona May. 2017-2020




  • “Introduction to Network Modeling” (EN560.453, EN560.653), Department of Civil and Systems Engineering, Fall 2019
  • “Infrastructure Systems Optimization” (ENGG1400),
    School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales
  • “Transport Systems – Network Analysis” (CVEN4402),
    School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales
  • “Urban Transport Planning” (CVEN4401/CVEN9405), School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales
  • “Sustainable Transport and Highway Engineering” (CVEN2401), School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales
  • “Transport Engineering and Environmental Sustainability” (CVEN2402), School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of New South Wales

current students

  • Ensheng Dong, PhD candidate, expected completion: August 2024
  • Hongru Du, PhD candidate, expected completion: August 2024

Select Journal Papers from 2019-2020

    1. Dong E, Du H, Gardner L. An interactive web-based dashboard to track COVID-19 in real time. Lancet Infect Dis; published online Feb 19. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30120-1.
    2.  Meead Saberi, Mudabber Ashfaq, Homayoun Hamedmoghadam, Seyed Amir Hosseini, Ziyuan Gu, Sajjad Shafiei, Divya J. Nair, Vinayak Dixit, Lauren Gardner, S. Travis Waller, Marta González “A simple contagion process describes spreading of traffic jams in urban networks”, In press, Nature Communications.
    3. Jess Liebig, Cassie Jansen, Dean Paini, Lauren Gardner, Raja Jurdak. (2019) “A global model for predicting the arrival of imported dengue infections”. PLOS ONE. 14(12): e0225193. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0225193.
    4. Sahotra Sarkar, Aleksa Zlojutro, Kamran Khan and Lauren Gardner*. (2019) “Measles Resurgence in the United States: How International Travel Compounds Vaccine Resistance [Comment]” Lancet Infectious Diseases 19 (7) 684-686.
    5. Ahktar, Mahmood, Kraemer, Moritz U.G. and Lauren M Gardner*. (2019) “A real-time outbreak prediction model for the spread of Zika in the Americas.” BMC Medicine volume 17, Article number: 171. Doi: 10.1186/s12916-019-1389-3
    6. Grubaugh et al. (2019) “Travel Surveillance and Genomics Uncover a Hidden Zika Outbreak during the Waning Epidemic”, Cell 178, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.07.018
    7. Hajdu, Laszlo, Bota A, Kresz, Miklos, Khani, Alireza and Gardner (2019) “Discovering the hidden community structure of public transportation networks”. Networks and Spatial Economics. (SJR 2015 Q1). Doi: 0.1007/s11067-019-09476-3. Open Access link: https://rdcu.be/bPbze
    8. Zlojutro, A, Rey, D and L Gardner*. (2019) “Optimizing border control policies for global outbreak mitigation”. Scientific Reports 9:2216. DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-38665-w (Open Source link) https://rdcu.be/bniOs
    9. Gardner*, Bóta A, Gangavarapu K, Kraemer MUG, Grubaugh ND (2018) “Inferring the risk factors behind the geographical spread and transmission of Zika in the Americas” PloS neglected tropical diseases 12 (1), e0006194. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0006194.
    10. Bota A, Gardner*, and Khani, A. (2017). “Identifying Critical Components of a Public Transit System for Outbreak Control”.  Networks and Spatial Economics 17 (4), 1137-1159. DOI: 10.1007/s11067-017-9361-2
    11. Gardner*, Chen N and Sarkar S. (2017) “Vector Status of Aedes Species Determines Geographical Risk of Autochthonous Zika Virus Establishment”. PloS neglected tropical diseases 11 (3), e0005487. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005487
    12. Bui CM, Gardner L, Sarkar, MacIntyre CR. (2017) “Influenza A H5N1 and H7N9 in China: A Spatial Risk Analysis”. PloS one 12 (4), e0174980. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174980.

Other Publications

    1. Gardner, L. (2020) “Mapping 2019-nCoV” https://systems.jhu.edu/research/public-health/ncov/
    2. Gardner, L., Zlojutro, A, Rey, D, Dong E, (2020),  “Modeling the Spread of 2019-nCoV” https://systems.jhu.edu/research/public-health/ncov-model/
    3. Gardner, L., Zlojutro, A, Rey, D, Dong E, (2020), “Update January 31: Modeling the Spreading Risk of 2019-nCoV https://systems.jhu.edu/research/public-health/ncov-model-2/

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

Recent Invited Talks

  1. Gardner, L. “Using Network Theory to Inform Infectious Disease Control Policy”, Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases Seminar Series at the Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, August 2019.
  2. Gardner, L. “A Decision-support Framework to Optimize Border Control for Global Outbreak Mitigation”, at 2019 INFORMS Healthcare Conference at MIT, Cambridge, MA. July 2019.
  3. Gardner, L. “Network Models for Infectious Disease Spread”, M. Gordon Wolman Seminar Series for Department of Environmental Health and EngineeringJohns Hopkins University, April 2, 2019.
  4. Gardner, L. “A World Without Borders”, talk and track moderator for IMAGINE Symposium: Imagine the Future: Conceptualizing Infrastructure Systems for an Interconnected World, George Mason University, October, 2017.
  5. Gardner, L. “Modeling Contagion Processes in Networks”, Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research, George Mason University, October, 2017.