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Vaccine Modeling Initiative

The Vaccine Modeling Initiative (VMI) is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and directed by Dr. Donald Burke, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. The VMI is a research consortium between the University of Pittsburgh, Imperial College London and Princeton University with collaborators in many other institutes such as the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

The objective of the VMI is improved decision-making in the selection of new vaccine products and epidemic control policies. This is done by the development of computational models and simulations of epidemic infectious diseases of global importance, and application of these models to guide new vaccine product selection and to optimize control policies. The application of these new tools will allow more informed public health decision making and add an additional component in the global effort to reduce the burden of infectious diseases. Read more...

Project Tycho/Job Opportunity

University of Pittsburgh logoThe Public Health Dynamics Laboratory (PHDL) at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health is recruiting a data curator and outreach coordinator to contribute to improving and creating awareness for the Project Tycho global health data repository and to help research to prevent epidemics. Learn more.

Vaccination Myths and Facts

vaccineAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccinations that help protect children from infectious diseases have saved hundreds of thousands of lives in the U.S. and prevented millions of hospitalizations over the years. But there is so much confusing information online about vaccines for children that it can be tough to know what's true and what's not, reports Consumer Reports. The CDC recommends a vaccination schedule for children. Addressing the myth that it's safer to space out kids' vaccines, Wilbert van Panhuis, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, responds, "The CDC bases the schedule on disease risks and vaccine effectiveness at specific ages, and the way vaccines may interact with each other. To start mixing this up is really complicated and actually can be dangerous" possibly leaving kids vulnerable to infectious diseases. Read more.

Coming Soon: New Release of FRED

New Release!A new version of FRED (A Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics) will soon be ready for release. FRED is a tool for building epidemiological agent-based (individual-based) models and is designed to study how patterns of health conditions in defined populations vary over time. The new FRED will make population modeling easier. It is a unique tool for social science modeling and no computer programming is needed. A systems thinking approach is required to identify conditions of interest, their states, and the rules for changing states. FRED will simplify the workflow environment and manage the data produced by the simulation. To read more about the new FRED platform, click here.

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