mContain Team

The mContain app, software, and website are developed by the software engineers, staff, and doctoral students at the MD2K Center of Excellence at The University of Memphis. A local infectious disease expert, Dr. Manoj Jain, approached University of Memphis for help with social distancing on March 22, 2020. In response, the MD2K Center proposed the mContain app concept. With expeditious work from the MD2K team (see members below), the mContain app launched on April 7, 2020.

The office of legal counsel at the University of Memphis contributed with appropriate documents, consent/waiver forms, and the legal framework. The Information Technology Services at the University of Memphis hosts the mContain servers (including the mContain website) and MD2K’s cloud infrastructure.

The following individuals and groups contribute to the mContain initiative.

mContain Leadership


Santosh Kumar, Ph.D., Lillian & Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence Professor in Computer Science, University of Memphis. As the MD2K Center Director, Santosh oversees all aspects of the mContain project.


Manoj Jain, M.D., M.P.H., Infectious Disease Consultant, Clinical Faculty at Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health. Manoj contributes his infectious disease expertise to the mContain app design and coordinates with the local government and healthcare organizations.

mContain Software


Tim Hnat, Ph.D., Chief Software Architect. Tim designs and oversees the overall software architecture, leads the app and cloud development efforts for collecting data, converting this to encounters, and producing publically available visualizations for the community. He also coordinates with leadership and external groups regarding the functionality and benefits of this app and platform.


Anandatirtha Nandugudi, Ph.D., Data Science Engineer. Anand develops the user-experience components of the app and develops the data collection and analytic modules for the iOS app.


Monowar Hossain, Ph.D., Lead Software Engineer. Monowar develops the data collection and analytic modules for the Android app and bi-directional communication of data and alerts with the cloud.


Nasir Ali, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor. Nasir architects and develops the cloud platform (called Cerebral Cortex) to collect and process the data. He also integrates algorithms and analytics developed by the doctoral students in processing pipelines on the MD2K Cerebral Cortex cloud.

mContain Analytics and Algorithms

The following doctoral students at the MD2K Center of Excellence develop the algorithms that compute various analytics for computing contacts, crowding, and alerts.


Rabin Banjade develops map-based data visualizations for the public that show proximity and crowding of people throughout the greater Memphis area.


Soujanya Chatterjee contributes to the design and development of the mContain backend, specifically the algorithms for processing of the GPS data and analytics of social crowding.


Shiplu Hawlader contributes to the design and development of the backend of mContain, specifically computing different statistics of crowding and contacts.


Azim Ullah develops algorithms to compute the proximity among app users based on their Bluetooth and location data. He also develops algorithms for computing aggregate statistics from the proximity and contacts that are used for visualization.

mContain Research

In addition to the above team members working directly on the mContain software and algorithms, the following doctoral students are contributing to an academic article on communicating the concept, design, and research challenges in contact alerting systems.


Hosneara Ahmed contributes to architecture design challenges and various evaluation facets for mContain.


Sayma Akther contributes to the future direction of the app and evaluation methodology of mContain.


Sameer Neupane contributes to prior works and research challenges related to app design, authenticity of test results, and evaluation of mContain.


Mithun Saha contributes to research challenges in communicating authenticity, design details and evaluation aspects of mContain.


Nazir Saleheen contributes his privacy expertise to investigate methods to achieve anonymity in both data collection and alert generation.

mContain Administration


Brian Ahern, Technical Writer & Training Specialist. Brian develops and maintains the mContain website along with graphics, language, and other digital content needs.


Joe Biggers, Director of Operations. Joe coordinates the work of the entire mContain team, handles communication with external stakeholders and enquiries.


Shahin Samiei, Associate Director for Research & Studies. Shahin directly supports the user privacy aspects of the mContain app, compliance with various local, state, and federal laws regarding health data, and coordinates with the office of legal counsel to develop user consent/waiver forms as well as acquisition of test results.

© 2020 MD2K Center of Excellence. All rights reserved.
The MD2K Center of Excellence was established via a grant (#U54EB020404) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), through funds provided by the trans-NIH Big Data-to-Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, and is administered by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). MD2K is currently supported by NIH grants U54EB020404, R01CA190329, R01DE025244, R01MD010362, R00MD010468, R24EB025845, R01CA224537, and U01CA229437. MD2K is also supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) grants ACI-1640813, IIS-1722646, and CNS-1823221.