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Center presents five posters and two plenaries at MIDAS Network meeting

FRED measles poster

The University of Pittsburgh MIDAS Center of Excellence is one of three such centers in the MIDAS Network. The centers, Research Groups, and Informatics Service Group convened in Atlanta last month for an all-grantees meeting. Our center contributed five posters, two plenaries, and an invited guest to the scientific program.

Drs. Mary G. Krauland, John J. Grefenstette, and Donald S. Burke prepared a poster presentation of the study varying vaccination rates in counties in Western Pennsylvania. The purpose was to examine the potential effect of areas of low vaccination rates on neighboring regions with higher vaccination rates. For the poster, "Modeling the Effects of Low Measles Vaccination Rates on Neighboring Geographic Areas," investigators varied vaccination rates in counties in Western Pennsylvania to examine the potential effect of areas of low vaccination rates on neighboring regions with higher vaccination rates.

Study results indicate that the risk is not confined to the area with low vaccination coverage, and helps to quantify the risk to surrounding communities. The authors observe that low rates of vaccination have implications for the general public as well as for those who refuse vaccination or those living in regions of low vaccination coverage, since vaccination fails to generate immunity in a small proportion of those vaccinated and some members of the population will either be too young to be vaccinated or will not be vaccinated for medical reasons.

Attention, Atlanta-area students from underrepresented groups!

buckhead hyattApply to join us as a student guest at the April 2015 MIDAS National Network Meeting. The student event will be held in the Buckhead area of Atlanta on the afternoon of April 28th. Apply now for an opportunity to learn more about computational modeling of infectious diseases. This opportunity for students from underrepresented groups is a part of NIGMS' ongoing efforts to increase the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.

The Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) Network is an NIH-funded collaborative network of research scientists who use computational, statistical, and mathematical models to understand infectious disease dynamics and thereby assist the nation to prepare for, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats.

Applications are rolling (so early application is encouraged). Deadline extended until Monday, April 20. Apply online at http://ow.ly/L2Cn4

Simulation Brings Facts to Measles Outbreak and Vaccination Debate

FRED Measles

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 17, 2015 – To bring facts and clarity to the public debate about immunization in light of the recent measles outbreak, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health today unveiled a computer simulation that explores the impact of measles outbreaks in cities across the U.S. Users can see how an outbreak would play out if their city had high or low vaccination rates.

The simulation – which is easily accessible from mobile devices – is an adaptation of the popular Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED), a free resource created at Pitt. By visiting fred.publichealth.pitt.edu/measles, people can select cities they’re interested in and watch short animations that play out an outbreak with either high or low vaccination coverage.

Read more: Simulation Brings Facts to Measles Outbreak and Vaccination Debate

MIDAS Researchers Explain Community Immunity in Wall Street Journal

Derek CummingsMIDAS researchers, including the University of Pittsburgh Center of Excellence’s own Derek Cummings, discuss the impact of vaccination rates on community protection.  Dr. Cummings works on the Data & Parameters project.

More info at http://on.wsj.com/1Ii7Hu9

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