Staff Profile

W. Alton Russell, PhD

Assistant Professor, McGill University

Alton is a decision scientist who develops models that inform clinical practice and health policy. He joined the ITA in February 2021 as a Postdoctoral Fellow. As a member of the Jalali lab, Alton is primarily focused on developing simulation-based health economic analyses of policies to combat the United States opioid epidemic. In 2022, Alton joined the McGill School of Population and Global Health as an Assistant Professor

Prior to joining the ITA, Alton received undergraduate degrees from North Carolina State University in Industrial Engineering and Interdisciplinary Studies with a Global Health concentration. He then worked as a management consultant for U.S. hospitals for two years before pursuing an MS and a PhD in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. As a researcher, Alton uses simulation, optimization, and methods from data science, epidemiology, and health economics to inform decisions in healthcare. He is interested in augmenting existing methods in healthcare decision modeling and informing decisions in multiple clinical and policy-related areas, including the safety of the donated blood supply, pediatric kidney disease management, and gastrointestinal procedures, and measures to combat the opioid epidemic.

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Selected Publications


Russell, W. Alton; Owusu-Ofori, Shirley; Owusu-Ofori, Alex; Micah, Eileen; Norman, Betty; Custer, Brian

Cost-effectiveness and budget impact of whole blood pathogen reduction in Ghana. Journal Article

In: Transfusion, vol. 61, iss. 12, pp. 3402-3412, 2021, ISSN: 1537-2995.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Russell, W. Alton; Custer, Brian Scott; Brandeau, Margaret L

Optimal portfolios of blood safety interventions: test, defer or modify? Journal Article

In: Health Care Management Science, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 551-568, 2021, ().

Links | BibTeX

Russell, W. Alton

Estimating the effect of discontinuing universal screening of donated blood for Zika virus in the 50 UṠ. states Journal Article

In: Annals of Internal Medicine, 2021, ().

Links | BibTeX


Yu, Jessica X.; Russell, W. Alton; Ching, Jack H.; Kim, Nathan; Bendavid, Eran; Owens, Douglas K.; Kaltenbach, Tonya

Cost effectiveness of endoscopic resection vs transanal resection of complex benign rectal polyps Journal Article

In: Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vol. 17, no. 13, pp. 2740–2748.e6, 2019, ISSN: 15427714, ().

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Russell, W. Alton; Stramer, Susan L.; Busch, Michael P.; Custer, Brian

Screening the blood supply for Zika virus in the 50 U.S. States and Puerto Rico: A cost-effectiveness analysis Journal Article

In: Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 170, no. 3, pp. 164–174, 2019, ISSN: 15393704, ().

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Russell, W. Alton; Scheinker, David; Sutherland, Scott

Epidemiologic impact of alternative acute kidney injury definitions in a pediatric inpatient setting Journal Article

In: Working Paper, 2019, ().