UF experts join with partners at UNC and Johns Hopkins in creation of CDC-funded center for outbreak forecasting

Three dimensional illsutration of the chikungunya virus.
Chikungunya is an emerging mosquito-borne RNA virus from Togaviridae family that can cause outbreaks of a debilitating arthritis-like disease. Concept by Dr_Microbe/Adobe Stock.

Two University of Florida infectious disease experts are part of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded outbreak analytics and disease modeling network that is designed to help the nation respond more quickly and effectively during public health emergencies.

Derek Cummings, Ph.D., a professor of biology in the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and an associate director of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, and Matt Hitchings, S.D., an assistant professor of biostatistics at the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and an Emerging Pathogens Institute member, are partners in the Atlantic Coast Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics and Analytics, or ACCIDDA. It is one of 13 centers announced September 19 as part of the CDC’s Outbreak Analytics and Disease Modeling Network and will serve as the coordinating center of the network.

“Each of the grantees will help us move the nation forward in our efforts to better prepare and respond to infectious disease outbreaks that threaten our families and our communities,” said Dylan George, director of the CDC Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics. “We are committed to working alongside these outstanding partners to achieve our goal of using data and advanced analytics to support decision-makers at every level of government.”

This article was originally written by Jill Pease for the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions. To read the full article, visit the blog.