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)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-BBCB-5 (MI))
Program Officer
Sheeley, Douglas
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University of Pittsburgh
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Lessler, Justin; Cummings, Derek A T (2016) Mechanistic Models of Infectious Disease and Their Impact on Public Health. Am J Epidemiol 183:415-22
Salje, Henrik; Cauchemez, Simon; Alera, Maria Theresa et al. (2016) Reconstruction of 60 Years of Chikungunya Epidemiology in the Philippines Demonstrates Episodic and Focal Transmission. J Infect Dis 213:604-10
Clapham, Hannah E; Rodriguez-Barraquer, Isabel; Azman, Andrew S et al. (2016) Dengue Virus (DENV) Neutralizing Antibody Kinetics in Children After Symptomatic Primary and Postprimary DENV Infection. J Infect Dis 213:1428-35
Chadsuthi, Sudarat; Iamsirithaworn, Sopon; Triampo, Wannapong et al. (2016) The impact of rainfall and temperature on the spatial progression of cases during the chikungunya re-emergence in Thailand in 2008-2009. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 110:125-33
Guclu, Hasan; Read, Jonathan; Vukotich Jr, Charles J et al. (2016) Social Contact Networks and Mixing among Students in K-12 Schools in Pittsburgh, PA. PLoS One 11:e0151139
Grantz, Kyra H; Rane, Madhura S; Salje, Henrik et al. (2016) Disparities in influenza mortality and transmission related to sociodemographic factors within Chicago in the pandemic of 1918. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:13839-13844
Poon, Leo L M; Song, Timothy; Rosenfeld, Roni et al. (2016) Quantifying influenza virus diversity and transmission in humans. Nat Genet 48:195-200
Dalziel, Benjamin D; Bjørnstad, Ottar N; van Panhuis, Willem G et al. (2016) Persistent Chaos of Measles Epidemics in the Prevaccination United States Caused by a Small Change in Seasonal Transmission Patterns. PLoS Comput Biol 12:e1004655
Nisalak, Ananda; Clapham, Hannah E; Kalayanarooj, Siripen et al. (2016) Forty Years of Dengue Surveillance at a Tertiary Pediatric Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, 1973-2012. Am J Trop Med Hyg 94:1342-7
Lessler, Justin; Salje, Henrik; Van Kerkhove, Maria D et al. (2016) Estimating the Severity and Subclinical Burden of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Infection in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Am J Epidemiol 183:657-63

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