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Faculty & Staff Honors

Pittsburgh: Public Health Epidemiologist to Lead Creation of Global Infectious Disease Data System

Backed by a five-year, $6.7 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant, the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health today announced that it plans to lead a culture shift in data-sharing rippling through scientific fields and harness it to improve global knowledge of infectious diseases.
Pitt Public Health will lead a multidisciplinary group of computer scientists, biostatisticians and biomedical informatics experts to direct the inaugural Network Coordination Center for the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS), a collaborative research network originally launched by the NIH in 2004 to assist the nation in preparing for infectious disease threats.
“The scientific community is increasingly recognizing that sharing research data and software not only benefits individual research projects, but increases the impact of science and innovation on the greater good. However, nobody’s figured out exactly how to do this for global infectious diseases,” said Dr. Wilbert van Panhuis, assistant professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health and biomedical informatics at Pitt’s School of Medicine, who will lead the new center. “What we’re going to do is leverage that interest in ‘open science’ to create a framework that will make it easy to share, find and use research data and software to combat infectious diseases.”
The MIDAS Network Coordination Center will strive to accelerate infectious disease research and discoveries by developing a cloud-based platform where scientists can store, share, access and use massive libraries of infectious disease data with high-performance computing.
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