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UC Santa Barbara receives Grand Challenges Explorations funding
Date:11/7/2011

immune status; reliable updates to vaccinations records; and quick, targeted dissemination of vaccination availability in rural regions. ImmuNet provides a technical solution that correlates up-to-date vaccine status of all persons in a coverage area with family relationship and biometric data and tracks human behavior to aid in rapid, prioritized immunization of infants and children. ImmunNet facilitates dissemination of vaccination-related information to rural residents through free local voice and data cellular connectivity provided to existing, unmodified cell phones. This is particularly critical in areas where cellular connectivity is not currently available.

"We are thrilled to receive this award from the Gates Foundation, and are very excited about this project. Technology brings empowerment to people in many ways, and health care is one of the primary areas that can improve quality of life," said Elizabeth Belding, co-principal investigator and professor of Computer Science at UCSB. "The development of ImmuNet is a key example of how computer science can be applied to a humanitarian cause for widespread benefit to many people, particularly, as targeted by this award, to infants and children."

Principal investigators Belding and El Abbadi are full professors with the Department of Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara. Professor Belding's research focuses on mobile networking, and particularly on wireless network solutions for developing and underdeveloped regions worldwide. She has a number of partnerships with organizations in South Africa and Zambia, where she is working to develop solutions that bridge the digital divide and bring Internet connectivity to rural residents. Professor Belding is currently the Vice Chair of the Computer Science Department. Professor El Abbadi's research focus is on data management and distributed systems, with recent interest in cloud computing and data dissemination in on-line social networks. Professor
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Contact: Melissa Van De Werfhorst
melissa@engineering.ucsb.edu
805-893-4301
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

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