Yuming Sun, a Ph.D. student studying Operations Research at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, has been honored with the 2023 Seth Bonder Scholarship for Applied Operations Research in Health Services.

The Seth Bonder scholarship is a prestigious student award in the INFORMS Health Applications Society, that promotes the development and application of process modeling and operations research analysis to healthcare design, delivery, and operations.

Officially unveiled on Sunday, October 15th at the INFORMS Annual Meeting Awards Banquet, Sun was recognized for his exceptional research addressing the urgent need to focus on the threats posed by “circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus” (cVDPV).

Pioneering Solutions in Polio Eradication

Sun’s research proposal emphasized the ongoing challenges in reducing polio transmission on a global scale and mitigating vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreaks -- offering hope for a polio-free world.

His work consists of modeling the spread of poliovirus in high-risk spaces, while investigating cost-effective options to stop, prevent, and end polio outbreaks.

“Vaccine-derived poliovirus outbreaks are a result of the live-attenuated viruses used in the oral polio vaccine (OPV) reverting to cVDPV in under-vaccinated communities. cVDPV leads to poliovirus transmission and potentially paralysis among infected individuals.”

A Visionary Collaboration

With his research advancement, Sun emerges as a trailblazer, potentially being the first ISyE student in over two decades to receive this revered award.

Under the guidance of his advisors, Pinar Keskinocak and Lauren Steimle, Sun has “closely collaborated with researchers in the Global Immunization Division at the CDC, and regularly incorporates their feedback into his models.”

The invaluable feedback from the CDC team has enriched the impact, positioning Yuming at the forefront of this critical research.

Author: Camille C. Henriquez

Yuming Sun

Yuming Sun Receiving Award