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PhD student, Department of Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Cyrus Sinai is a PhD student in Geography, and is broadly interested in developing and applying methods for infectious disease surveillance in the most remote, resource-challenged regions in the world, particularly within sub-Saharan Africa. He is also a predoctoral trainee at the Carolina Population Center, where he is a member of the interdisciplinary Energy Poverty PIRE (EPPSA) research team. Within this sphere, he is focused on exploring the impact that (lack of) health facility access to electricity and information communication technologies (ICT) has on infectious disease surveillance and control efforts.

Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, Cyrus received his B.A. from UCLA, where he majored in International Development and minored in Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), and Public Health. As an undergraduate, he conducted research in the rainforests of southeast Cameroon, examining the links between HIV prevalence and the logging and mining industries operating in the region.

After graduating, Cyrus spent 3 years working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the UCLA-DRC Health Research & Training Program, providing technical assistance to the DRC Ministry of Health on disease surveillance activities and research, primarily for African sleeping sickness, Ebola, and polio. His work involved collaborating with local health zone staff in the interior of the country to develop more accurate spatial datasets of settlements and population estimates, using off-grid mapping and microcensus methodologies.


  • 2018–present
    PhD student / EPPSA Graduate Energy Poverty Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill