This proposal builds upon our proven track record of productivity as an established Center of Excellence within the NIGMS Modeling of Infectious Disease Agent Study program. To date, our Center of Excellence has prepared and published 174 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals;hosted five major trans-disciplinary conferences;introduced 95 diverse students to research and training opportunities in computational modeling;developed ten innovative computational methods, tools or platforms;and provided valuable, timely decision support to health officials at the county (Allegheny), state (Pennsylvania), national (CDC, ASPR, BARDA), and international (WHO) levels. The PI at Pittsburgh and the senior investigators at key partnering institutions (Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, and Imperial) form an established team of experienced modelers who are proven to be highly collaborative with each other and with colleagues across the entire MIDAS network. The Center of Excellence research plan consists of five interacting research projects which focus on (1) Data and Parameters;(2) Behavioral Dynamics;(3) Evolutionary Dynamics;(4) Models and Forecasts;and (5) Policy Methods. All five projects are linked to each other as steps along a public health decision-support "metamodel" of information flow. The five research projects are led by outstanding research academicians who are highly expert in their respective areas. Expected research project pay-offs include deeper mechanistic understanding of epidemic dynamics, increased accuracy of epidemic forecasting, and improved methods to assess the value of information required for greater confidence in public health decision-making. The Center of Excellence also houses four supporting components, on Policy Studies;Software and Computing;Training, Outreach, and Diversity;and Administration. Each supporting component is led by an exceptionally well-qualified expert and is designed to interact with and facilitate the work of the research projects. A unique feature of this Center of Excellence is its remarkably interdisciplinary character, with vigorous participation by physicians, epidemiologists, behavioral scientists, microbial geneticists, computer scientists, health policy experts, lawyers, and public health practitioners. We are well positioned to provide continued leadership in the renewed MIDAS network, and we are deeply committed to collaborative research not only within our own Center Excellence but across the entire MIDAS network structure.

Public Health Relevance

The mission of the Pittsburgh MIDAS Center of Excellence is to protect the United States of America and the global community against communicable infectious disease threats. We will do this by improving our nation's ability to predict the course of potential epidemics, to devise strategies to prevent the emergence or re-emergence of pathogenic microbes, and to respond rapidly to mitigate the impact of a spreading epidemic.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-BBCB-5 (MI))
Program Officer
Sheeley, Douglas
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Pittsburgh
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
Zip Code
Burke, Jessica G; Lich, Kristen Hassmiller; Neal, Jennifer Watling et al. (2015) Enhancing dissemination and implementation research using systems science methods. Int J Behav Med 22:283-91
Quinn, Sandra Crouse; Kumar, Supriya (2014) Health inequalities and infectious disease epidemics: a challenge for global health security. Biosecur Bioterror 12:263-73
WHO Ebola Response Team (2014) Ebola virus disease in West Africa--the first 9 months of the epidemic and forward projections. N Engl J Med 371:1481-95
Skene, Katherine J; Paltiel, A David; Shim, Eunha et al. (2014) A marginal benefit approach for vaccinating influenza "superspreaders". Med Decis Making 34:536-49
Mochan, Ericka; Swigon, David; Ermentrout, G Bard et al. (2014) A mathematical model of intrahost pneumococcal pneumonia infection dynamics in murine strains. J Theor Biol 353:44-54
Churcher, Thomas S; Cohen, Justin M; Novotny, Joseph et al. (2014) Public health. Measuring the path toward malaria elimination. Science 344:1230-2
van Panhuis, Willem G; Hyun, Sangwon; Blaney, Kayleigh et al. (2014) Risk of dengue for tourists and teams during the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 8:e3063
Jombart, Thibaut; Cori, Anne; Didelot, Xavier et al. (2014) Bayesian reconstruction of disease outbreaks by combining epidemiologic and genomic data. PLoS Comput Biol 10:e1003457
Cauchemez, Simon; Ferguson, Neil M; Fox, Annette et al. (2014) Determinants of influenza transmission in South East Asia: insights from a household cohort study in Vietnam. PLoS Pathog 10:e1004310
van Panhuis, Willem G; Paul, Proma; Emerson, Claudia et al. (2014) A systematic review of barriers to data sharing in public health. BMC Public Health 14:1144

Showing the most recent 10 out of 134 publications