EPI sponsors inaugural UF Global Health Case Competition

EPI sponsors inaugural UF Global Health Case Competition

Ten teams of interprofessional University of Florida students, graduate and undergraduate, competed in the inaugural UF Global Health Case Competition on Saturday, April 19. The mission of the competition is to bring together students from multiple disciplines and provide them with the opportunity to tackle current and critical global health issues in a collaborative and competitive environment. Students received the case on April 16, and had two full days to complete their presentations.The Emerging Pathogens Institute was one of the sponsors of this event because it believes that these types of competitions train future researchers to be the best they can be.

Case Topic:

“Ukraine and the Polio Outbreak”

This case is based on actual and ongoing global events.

The case details the recent polio outbreak in Syria, the first since 1999. Syria has been experiencing a civil war for the past three years, and child refugees leaving the country create the possibility for polio to spread to other countries. Three weeks ago, an Iraqi boy was confirmed to have the same strain of poliovirus as that contracted by the Syrian children. Ukraine is a neighboring country threatened by the possibility of a polio outbreak as an estimated 50-70% of its child population is unvaccinated for the virus. Complicating this issue is Ukraine’s current political turmoil, a highlight of which includes its former president signing a trade deal with Russia instead of that with the European Union. Students were tasked with developing recommendations to address the increasingly high potential for a polio outbreak in Ukraine and acted as a consulting group for the World Health Organization.



    Department of Economics
    UF Warrington College of Business Administration
    UF College of Design, Construction and Planning
    UF Levin College of Law
    Education & International Affairs
    UF College of Pharmacy
    School of Special Education
    School Psychology and Early Childhood Studies
    UF College of Education
    Department of Anthropology
    UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


First Place: PoliNo (Team Name)

Chetan Dhamija, Information Systems & Operations Management (Masters)

Charles Garrigan, Political Science (Ph.D.)

Sarang Kulkarni, Materials Science & Engineering (Masters)

Chris Li, Biology (Bachelors)

Carley Pels, Health Education & Behavior (Bachelors)

Jordan Zeldin, Math and English (Bachelors)


Second Place: AntiVirus

Lara Esin, Public Health- Epidemiology (Masters)

Aasrith Ganti, Electrical Engineering (Masters)

Raies Mir, Animal Science (Ph.D.)

Mercedes Murphy, Public Health- Epidemiology (Masters)

Shannon Patelsky, Microbiology & Cell Science (Bachelors)


Honorable Mention: The Marco Institute

Cathleen Huynh, Health Science (Bachelors)

Jeremy Lambeth, Sustainable Development Practice (Masters)

TianTian Li, Soil & Water Science (Masters)

Peter Regala, Spanish (Bachelors)

Alexandra Sprague, Sustainable Development Practice (Masters)


The Emerging Pathogens Institute would like to congratulate all of the participants for their hard work and dedication.

For more information visit www.ufghcc.org/. 

Check out pictures below.