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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

International Society for Disease Surveillance Awards UMass Amherst Faculty Member’s Article First Place

The International Society for Disease Surveillance (ISDS) has chosen an article by Dr. Nicholas Reich, assistant professor of biostatistics at UMass Amherst, as the first place winner for the 2015 Award for Outstanding Research Articles in Biosurveillance. The article, titled “Triggering Interventions for Influenza: The ALERT Algorithm”, was nominated in the Impact on the Field of Biosurveillance category.

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[Photo: Dr. Nicholas Reich]

The ISDS is a nonprofit dedicated to the improvement of population health by advancing the science and practice of disease surveillance. As lead author on the award-winning article, Reich will present at the 2015 ISDS Conference December 9-10 in Denver. “It is a tremendous honor to have our work recognized in this way by ISDS,” says Dr. Reich, “The ALERT algorithm has proven to be a very useful tool for our collaborative team in practice. I look forward to the opportunity to present this work and the success we’ve had with it to the conference attendees.”

The new methodology presented in the article was developed by Dr. Reich and colleagues for the Respiratory Protection Effectiveness Clinical Trial (or the ResPECT study). Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Veterans Affairs, this clinical trial aims to compare the effectiveness of different types of masks in preventing respiratory infections in health care workers. Their work implements a method to identify, in real-time, a period of enhanced influenza activity.  The criteria for the award were:

Dr. Reich’s co-authors on the article include statistician Ms. Martha Zorn and doctoral candidate Mr. Stephen Lauer of UMass Amherst, Drs. Derek Cummings and Trish M. Perl of Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Christine Robinson of Children’s Hospital Colorado, Dr. Ann-Christine Nyquist of the University of Colorado & Children’s Hospital Colorado, Dr. Connie Price of Denver Health Medical Center & University of Colorado, Dr. Michael Simberkoff of the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, and Dr. Lewis J. Radonovich of the VA Center for Occupational Health and Infection Control.