Navigation Links
Pitt receives $13.4 million NIH grant to create virtual models for epidemics

PITTSBURGH, July 31 As the world prepares for a probable resurgence of H1N1 in the coming months, University of Pittsburgh researchers are controlling the spread of infectious diseases virtually with a $13.4 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to establish a Center of Excellence in Modeling of Infectious Diseases. The five-year grant, part of the NIH's Modeling of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) program, funds the development and testing of computer simulations that will ultimately enable public health officials and policymakers to evaluate intervention strategies to contain infectious disease outbreaks.

The center, led by Donald S. Burke, M.D., dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, uses census and other data sets to build simulations of individuals as they move about and interact with one another through schools, workplaces, households and communities. By modeling their contacts, the Pitt team is working to determine the likelihood a person will spread the disease to others, and to evaluate which interventions might be the most effective such as school closings, travel restrictions, hand washing, vaccines or a combination of these techniques.

"Stopping the spread of infectious diseases remains one of the most significant public health challenges of our time," Dr. Burke said. "It is difficult to predict how infectious disease control strategies will work because the spread of infection through a population depends on a multitude of factors. But by testing interventions 'in silico' before an epidemic occurs, we can work through which strategies will be the most likely to succeed in preventing illness and death."

"The MIDAS center at the University of Pittsburgh brings together an exceptionally talented group of investigators," said Irene Eckstrand, Ph.D., who co-directs the MIDAS program at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the NIH. "Their diverse areas of expertise will be a huge asset in building robust models that provide timely and practical information that public health policymakers need. The center also will serve as a hub for training the next generation of infectious disease modelers."

Projects funded by the grant include: developing statistical tools to define the features of a pathogen and its spread through a population; identifying personal health behaviors and the social factors that influence decision-making related to prevention; tracking the evolution of infectious diseases over time; studying the impact of the seasons and variations in climate on infectious disease trajectories; putting a system in place to effectively implement an intervention; and providing new computational tools to local health officials.

These projects build on large-scale simulations previously developed by Dr. Burke and his colleagues to control a threatening avian influenza pandemic. These models were influential in forming the World Health Organization's decision about the size of antiviral medicine stockpiles needed to quash a possible avian flu outbreak, and in shaping U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' policies about the impact of "social distancing" during an influenza epidemic.


Contact: Clare Collins
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Related medicine news :

1. Janet Rowley, MD, A Researcher Funded by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
2. TriReme Medical, Inc. Receives CE Marking for Glider(TM) PTCA Dilatation Catheter
3. New ACTICOAT(TM) Silver Coated Anti-microbial Barrier Dressing Receives 510(k) Clearance from the US FDA
4. GenVec Receives Grant for Malaria Vaccine Program
5. Olympus Managed Health Care Receives Third Party Administrative License in State of Florida
6. Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy Receives Regional Good Neighbor Pharmacy Of The Year Award
7. Lilly Receives Award From National Medical Association
8. Prescient Medical Receives Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation of the Year Award
9. Assara Laser Hair Removal Centers (New York, NY) Receives 2008 New York Award for Cosmetology & Personal Hygiene Salons by the U.S.C.A.
10. Elekta CMS Software Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance for Monaco VMAT Treatment Planning Solution
11. Case Western Reserve University receives $3.7M NIH grant to study autonomic nervous system link to painful bladder syndrome
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed that over 50% of ... than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or 67% of the population ... global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us highly!" said Michelle ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... DE (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... member of the well-respected Microsoft Dynamics SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s ... an independent group of Microsoft Dynamics SL software users, partners, industry experts and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 ... ... you start failing. Secura Consultants has prided itself for not only fulfilling the ... best income protection solutions at an affordable price and providing top-tier customer service. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... CBD College is proud to announce that on November 20th, ... its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored to join this very short ... universities in the state of California make the cut. CBD College is officially the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap ... and Dr. Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health System’s ... STEMI and Sepsis conditions present in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to avoid ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ... the Global Cell Surface Testing Market: ... report to their offering.  --> ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and ... the "Advanced Wound Care Market by Type (Dressings, ... End User (In-Patient Facility, Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - ... --> --> ... description, definition and forecast of the global advanced wound ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ... ) has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. --> Research ... addition of the "Self Administration of High ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: