Mathematical models continue to play a major role in the studies of the transmission dynamics and control of malaria, a life-threatening parasitic disease that kills nearly one million people worldwide annually. Although existing models have advanced our understanding of malaria, new models are urgently needed to capture new challenges.
The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) is now accepting applications for its Investigative Workshop: Malaria Modeling and Control to be held June 15-17, 2011, at NIMBioS on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus. The goal of this workshop is to bring together mathematicians and biologists to discuss cutting-edge approaches to modeling malaria transmission and control.
In 2008, 243 million malaria cases led to about 863,000 deaths, a slight drop from 2006 statistics. This slight drop in mortality resulted from a number of improved policies, including increased international funding for research and healthcare, provision of insecticide-treated bed-nets, and a revival of support for indoor residential insecticide spraying. Despite this slight drop, challenges like drug resistance, the global financial slow-down and changing climatic conditions pose a threat to efforts to control malaria.
Mathematical models to help understand the dynamics of malaria have evolved progressively in recent years. However, new models are needed that account for current climatic changes, that incorporate the use of a potential vaccine, and that reflect the economic burden of the malaria-afflicted nations. Such a model can inform policymakers on the most effective combination of control tools to reduce the burden of malaria and to ultimately contribute to finding a means to eradicate the disease.
The workshop is organized Miranda I. Teboh-Ewungkem (Dept. of Mathematics, Lafayette College, Easton, PA); Folashade Agusto (NIMBioS, Univ. Tennessee, Knoxville); and Frederick Baliraine (Univ. California, San Francisco, Dept. of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, San Francisco General Hospital)
NIMBioS Investigative Workshops involve 30-40 participants, of which about half are invited. Individuals with a strong interest in the topic can also apply to attend. For more information about the workshop, go to http://www.nimbios.org/workshops/WS_malaria_modeling
The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) brings together researchers from around the world to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to investigate solutions to basic and applied problems in the life sciences. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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