Drug Development & Disease Diagnostics
Health Services Research

Area of Research

Ayman Chit’s research focuses on three main areas: 1) The epidemiology of infectious diseases; 2) the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of health technologies and interventions with a special focus on vaccines; 3) the economics of the healthcare system with a focus on the discovery, development and implementation of health technologies.

Research Challenge

The development of vaccines has contributed to the remarkable decline in infectious diseases over time, saving lives across the globe. But still, many infectious diseases continue to impose a substantial burden on the healthcare system. Many such diseases are still not well understood and lack effective treatments or vaccines. To add to the challenge, some pathogens like the Influenza virus are constantly mutating and escaping the vaccines and treatments designed to protect against them. This means that we are constantly in need of new vaccines. Before developing a vaccine, it is important for producers and healthcare experts to weigh cost versus benefit to determine whether another approach might be more appropriate. If a vaccine is ineffective or has unwanted complications, is it really worth spending the time and money to make?

Proposed Solution

Ayman’s research aims to determine the incidence and burden of infectious diseases globally—in both developed and developing countries. He also works on determining the effectiveness of various vaccines through studying immunization programs and their effects on populations and health systems. In addition, Ayman studies healthcare system structure and the economic incentives related to drug and vaccine use, as well as the economics of the drug and vaccine development process.

In all three areas of his research, Ayman uses randomized clinical trials, observational studies and mathematical models. The findings from his studies provide valuable disease statistics, inform whether new vaccines should be adopted in healthcare practice, and inform the development of policy mechanisms to improve drug development and adoption.

Impact to date

Ayman’s research has provided important information for decision makers in health policy and the pharmaceutical industry. He has published many of the first foundational studies on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the High-Dose influenza vaccine which was administered to more than two-thirds of older adults in the United States who received a vaccine during the 2017/2018 influenza season. His research has been cited by World Health Organization (WHO) member National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups (NITAGs) such as the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) at the US Center of Disease Control (CDC). Additionally, his research on the economics of healthcare and drug discovery has been important in influencing policy-making, especially around industrial decisions on vaccine development.