University of Georgia
This award will provide support for the annual Clinic on Dynamic Approaches to Infectious Disease Data to be held in December, 2016, that will provide training for U.S. scientists in the mathematics of infectious disease epidemiology. Mathematics and simulation are essential tools in infectious disease control, enabling decision-makers to explore control policies before implementing them, interpret trends, and predict emerging threats. Over the past decade, integration of the fields of mathematical epidemiology and biomedical epidemiology has increased in research practice; however, training options provide few opportunities for integration in the classroom. This clinic addresses this gap by offering participants exposure to a broad range of concepts and techniques from both epidemiological traditions. The clinic will provide a conceptual foundation for integrating dynamic modeling approaches with empirical infectious diseases research. It is aimed at participants without substantial experience in scientific computing or in mathematical modeling. The training will focus on how the complex dynamics of pathogen transmission influence study design and data collection for addressing applied problems in infectious disease research. This training will prepare participants to pursue their research goals after the clinic. Participants will develop the skills necessary to identify which research questions can and cannot benefit from development of a dynamic modeling program. In addition, because the clinic will also include scientists from Africa it will provide opportunities for U.S. scientists to build a network of international collaborators. In addition, lectures will be made publicly available online so that they can be used for self-instruction by those unable to attend the clinic or incorporated into teaching materials for other courses.