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NIH Grants Univ. of Pittsburgh $13.4 Million for Computer Simulation Studies of Disease Spread

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.

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.

Via EurekAlert

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