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Rachel Sippy

College positions:
Research Fellow
Department of Psychiatry
Contact details:

Dr Rachel Sippy

Dr Rachel Sippy is a JRF conducting epidemiologic research focusing on the drivers and determinants of infectious disease seasonality and dynamics, primarily focusing on dengue fever and other mosquito-borne arboviruses.

Data are a critical scientific resource, integral to the scientific process. Technological improvements have increased the precision of our measurements as well as our ability to generate and store data – but has this improved our science? Dr Sippy’s epidemiologic research focuses on the drivers and determinants of infectious disease seasonality and dynamics, primarily focusing on dengue fever and other mosquito-borne arboviruses. This work uses a combination of phylogenetic analyses and statistical modelling. Additional work on this topic has examined the role of climate and the environment at different scales, including microclimates and household-level built environments. She is also interested in the use of machine learning for prediction models of clinical outcomes among patients with dengue or environmental exposures impacting mosquito abundance. Within the context of complex environmental factors and vector-borne disease, methods of variable measurement must be carefully considered, as a relationship between variables may only reveal itself at particular scales.

Dr Sippy is also interested in the practical implications of epidemiological research, having conducted fieldwork in Ecuador. These projects included a series of trials to examine potential household interventions to reduce mosquito populations, surveillance of acute febrile illness, monitoring seasonal mosquito and tick population levels, climate and environmental monitoring, and clinical trials of chikungunya vaccine.

Dr Sippy advocates for improvements in the teaching of and communication regarding epidemiology, data, and statistics, both in formal classrooms and to the general public. Examples include public outreach events on the life stages of important disease vectors and creating clinical guidelines for tick-borne illnesses in Ecuador, as well as courses/workshops on computing for epidemiology/statistics, statistical modelling, machine learning, data management, and data visualization. She also serves as co-chair of the Communications Committee of the Society for Epidemiologic Research.

Select publications

  • Assessing critical gaps in COVID-19 testing capacity: the case of delayed results in Ecuador, I. Torres, R. Sippy, and F. Sacoto, BMC Public Health. 21(1):637 (2021) doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-10715-x
  • Social Stressors, Arboviral Infection, and Immune Dysregulation in the Coastal Lowland Region of Ecuador: A Mixed Methods Approach in Ecological Perspective, D. Vega Ocasio, A.M. Stewart-Ibarra, R. Sippy, et al., Am J Trop Med Hyg. 105(3):756-765 (2021) doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.20-1625
  • The 2018–2019 weak El Niño: Predicting the risk of a dengue outbreak in Machala, Ecuador, D. Petrova, X. Rodó, R. Sippy, et al., Int J Climatol. 41(7):3813-3823 (2021) doi: 10.1002/joc.6744
  • Medically attended outpatient coronavirus infections in Ecuadorean children during the 20 months preceding countrywide lockdown related to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic of 2020. R. Sippy, et al., Pediatr Infect Dis J. 39(10):e291- e296 (2020) doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000002840
  • Severity Index for Suspected Arbovirus (SISA): Machine Learning for Accurate Prediction of Hospitalization in Subjects Suspected of Arboviral Infection, R. Sippy et al., PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 14(2):e0007969 (2020) doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007969
  • Ingested insecticide to control Aedes aegypti: Developing a novel dried attractive toxic sugar bait device for intra-domiciliary control, R. Sippy, G.E. Rivera, et al., Parasit Vectors. 13(1):1-11 (2020) doi: 10.1186/s13071-020-3930-9
  • Seasonal Patterns of Dengue Fever in Rural Ecuador: 2009-2016, R. Sippy et al., PLoS Negl Trop Dis.13(5): e0007360 (2019) doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0007360
  • Effects of political instability in Venezuela on malaria resurgence at Ecuador-Peru border, 2018, R. Jaramillo-Ochoa & R. Sippy et al., Emerg. Infect. Dis. 25(4):834-836 (2019) doi: 10.3201/eid2504.181355

Select awards

  • Best Abstract – International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, 2019
  • William E. Scheckler, MD Research Writing Award, 2017

Further links