Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Institute for Medical Engineering and Science
Lydia Bourouiba is an associate professor in MIT’s departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and associate faculty with the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. She also founded and directs MIT’s Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory. Bourouiba is an applied mathematician and mathematical epidemiologist who leverages biophysics, advanced fluid dynamics experiments at various scales, and mathematical modeling to explain the fundamental physical mechanisms shaping the epidemiology and disease transmission dynamics in human, animal and plant populations. Through experiments and modeling, her work elucidates the multi-scale dynamics of fluid fragmentation, with particular interest in the mixing, transport, and persistence of pathogens relevant to contamination and health, where drops, multi-phase, and complex flows are at the core.
Bourouiba founded the Fluids and Health Conference, an international forum for frontier research in health and fluid dynamics, including infectious diseases, drug delivery, food safety and related policy. Her awards include the Tse Cheuk Ng Tai’s Prize for Innovative Research in Health Sciences, the Ole Madsen Mentoring Award, and the Smith Family Foundation Odyssey Award for high-risk/high-reward basic science research. She earned a PhD at McGill University.
- Bourouiba, L. (2020). Turbulent Gas Clouds and Respiratory Pathogen Emissions: Potential Implications for Reducing Transmission of COVID-19. Journal of the American Medical Association. Published online March 26, 2020.
- Bahl, P., Doolan, C., de Silva, C., Chughtai, A. A., Bourouiba, L., MacIntyre, C. R. (2020). Airborne or Droplet Precautions for Health Workers Treating Coronavirus Disease 2019? The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
- Alsved, M., Bourouiba, L., Duchaine, C., Londahl J., Marr, L., Parker, S., Prussing II, A., and Thomas, R. (2019). Natural sources and experimental generation of bioaersols: Challenges and perspectives. Aerosol Science and Technology, 54:5, 547-571.
- Poulain, S., Bourouiba, L. (2019). Disease transmission via drops and bubbles. Physics Today 72, 5, 70.
- Poulain, S. and Bourouiba, L. (2018) Biosurfactants change the thinning of contaminated bubbles at bacteria-laden water interfaces. Physical Review Letters, 121, 204502.
- Wang, Y. and Bourouiba, L. (2018) Unsteady sheet fragmentation: Droplet sizes and speeds. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, vol. 848, pp. 946–967.
- March 14, 2020: Wired, They Say Coronavirus Isn’t Airborne—but It’s Definitely Borne By Air.
- March 12, 2020: MIT News, Covid-19 diagnostic based on MIT technology might be tested on patient samples soon.
- February 4, 2019: Live Long and Master Aging Podcast, How Did I Get This Cold?
- November 14, 2018: TEDMED, How diseases and epidemics move through a breath of air.
- Meet the Women of Breakthrough: Portraits of Women in Science.