PhD Exchange – Damian Tago

  1. What is your main research topic?

 My work is on Animal Health Economics. I analyze one of the main control strategies for animal infectious diseases which basically imposes restrictions to the movement of animals coming from high-risk areas. This reduces the speed of expansion of the disease but it can be very costly for some producers. The idea is to estimate these costs and incorporate behavioral and economic elements to the epidemiological analysis of infectious diseases.

  1. In what way has this visit helped you to advance your research project(s)?

Definitely. It was a great opportunity to interact with health scientists, biologists, and epidemiologists who work on similar topics but with different approaches. This experience was very useful not only to advance on my dissertation but it also gave me the opportunity to learn about other problems that are now part of my research interests.

  1. Did you like the academic environment? Is it very different from that of TSE? What are the main differences?

I really enjoyed the academic environment at Harvard, although I would not say that it is very different from the environment at TSE. Both environments are very stimulating and dynamic. I would say that the main difference is the huge diversity of research topics and scientists in a school of public health (compared with a school of economics). Moreover, at Harvard the diffusion of science is one of their priorities and as a consequence it is common to have seminars about the negotiation and implementation of policies where politicians and policy makers from all around the world share their experiences.

  1. Overall, did you enjoy this experience? Would you recommend to TSE students to visit another university during their PhD studies? Do you want to add anything else about your experience?

 It is definitely a good experience. I would advise any TSE student to spend some months abroad. Especially, I would recommend anyone to look for a multidisciplinary center. Interacting with scientist from other fields can help you to advance on your research and open the door to fruitful collaborations.