Welcome to
Dr. Gardner's Lab

Lauren Gardner

Alton and Sandra Cleveland 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, Alton and Sandra Cleveland 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, became the authoritative source of global COVID-19 epidemiological data for public health policy makers and many major news outlets worldwide. 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, NASA, the 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 and keynote talks at Universities and various events. 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) “Consortium for Viral Systems Biology (CViSB)”. Collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute and UCLA. Grant Number: 3U19AI135995-03S1.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID “Development of an interactive web-based dashboard to track COVID-19 in real-time”. 2020. Award ID: 2028604
  • NASA COVID-19 Supplement to “Environmental Determinants of Enteric Infectious Disease: a GEO platform for analysis and risk assessment”. 2020
  • 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”
  • 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 Team

  • Ensheng Dong, PhD candidate, expected completion: August 2024
  • Hongru Du, PhD candidate, expected completion: August 2024
  • Maximilian Marshall, PhD candidate, expected completion: August 2025
  • Sonia Jindal, PhD candidate, expected start date: Jan 2021
  • Hamada Badr, Senior Research Scientist
  • Kristen Nixon, Research Associate


    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-mosquit

Select Journal Papers from 2019-2020

    1. John R Giles, Elisabeth zu Erbach-Schoenberg, Andy J Tatem, Lauren Gardner, Ottar Bjornstad, C. Jessica E. Metcalf and Amy Wesolowski. “The duration of travel impacts the spatial dynamics of infectious diseases”. In press, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
    2. Gardner L, Dong E, Khan K, Sarkar S. “Persistence of U.S. measles risk in the United States due to continuing vaccine hesitancy and outbreaks abroad”. Lancet Inf Dis, Published Online: July 30, 2020; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30522-
    3. Badr H, Du H, Marshall M, Dong E, Squire M, Gardner L. Association between mobility patterns and COVID-19 Transmission in the USA: A Mathematical Modeling Study. Lancet Inf Dis, Published July 01, 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30553-3
    4. 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.
    5.  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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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
    9. 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
    10. 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
    11. 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
    12. 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.
    13. 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
    14. 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
    15. 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 and Scheduled Invited Talks

  1. (Scheduled) Keynote Talk, Darwin’s Circle 2020, How Technology Can Save the World, November 18th 2020. Vienna, Austria.
  2. (Scheduled) Keynote talk, JHU’s Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES) annual symposium, October 23, 2020.
  3. (Scheduled) IDWeek, Organized by NIH and CDC. “U.S. COVID-19 Experience – Behind the Dashboard”. October 21, 2020.
  4. (Scheduled) Keynote talk, the JHU Research Administrator Day (RAD), October 13, 2020.
  5. (Scheduled) Panelist for the 26th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, titled Fighting a Pandemic: Convergence of Expertise, Data Science and Policy. Hosted by the Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group in Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (ACM SIGKDD), August 25, 2020.
  6. (Scheduled) Keynote talk, 14th Annual MIT Chief Data Officer Information Quality Symposium. August 18, 2020.
  7. Keynote talk, 9th Annual Building Resilience Through Private-Public Partnership Conference, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and U.S. Northern Command. July 16 2020. Conference sessions available online.
  8. National Science Foundation (NSF) podcast:A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to keep the world informed. June 25, 2020. https://www.nsf.gov/news/mmg/mmg_disp.jsp?med_id=186567&linkId=92217719
  9. COVID-19 Pandemic Update for Hospitals and Clinicians: A Virtual and Interactive Learning Experience, talk title “Epidemiology of COVID-19”, Launched online May 18, 2020
  10. ESRI podcast“The Science and Scientist Behind the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Dashboard”: May 06, 2020 https://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/podcast/the-science-and-scientist-behind-the-johns-hopkins-coronavirus-dashboard/
  11. Panel member for COVID-19 Congressional Briefing, “One Hopkins response to COVID-19”, March 3, 2020, Washington D.C.