Public Release: 

Wildlife, virus zoonoses focus of workshop

National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)

The emergence of zoonotic pathogens from previously unrecognized wildlife reservoirs remains one of the great unsolved mysteries in biology. In the past century, numerous pathogens have emerged and re-emerged with an estimated frequency of one new viral pathogen every 18 months, and the majority have zoonotic origins in wildlife, such as SARS, Ebola, H1N1 flu and West Nile Virus.

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) is now accepting applications for its Investigative Workshop: Mathematical Modeling of Wildlife and Virus Zoonoses to be held Nov. 8-10, 2010, at NIMBioS on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus. The focus of the workshop is to define, discuss, and develop approaches to collaboratively address critical gaps that remain in mathematical modeling of the ecology and natural history of zoonotic viruses.

By bringing together experts in mathematical models in conjunction with those engaged in experimental analyses of emerging viruses, the workshop will provide a venue to build collaborative efforts to integrate approaches that would result in the interpretation of ecological trends in the spread of zoonotic diseases, provide greater understanding of underlying causes of outbreaks, and provide guidelines for their control and prevention.

The workshop is organized by Colleen B. Jonsson (Univ. of Louisville); Linda J. S. Allen (Texas Tech Univ.); and Pauline van den Driessche (Univ. of Victoria).

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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_zoonoses.html

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.

For more information, contact Catherine Crawley at 865-974-9350 or ccrawley@nimbios.org.

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