Ecology of Infectious Disease Grants Awarded by NSF, NIH
Scientists to research connections between infectious diseases and land use, global warming and other environmental changes
To better understand the ecological mechanisms that govern relationships between human-induced environmental changes and the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded 10 grants through the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (EID) program. It is the 11th year of funding in the joint NSF-NIH program.
Interdisciplinary projects funded through the EID program will study how large-scale environmental events--such as habitat destruction and global warming--alter the risks of viral, parasitic and bacterial diseases in humans and animals.
"Understanding disease transmission is critical for reducing disease incidence, and for predicting the effects of environmental changes such as global warming," says Sam Scheiner, EID program director at NSF, which funds the grants through its Directorate for Biological Sciences and Directorate for Geosciences. "We need to get a handle on why--and how."
This year's EID awards explore a range of problems (global transportation of goods and people, human agricultural practices), ecosystems (agricultural fields, oceans), disease-causing organisms (dengue fever, monkeypox, brucellosis), and hosts (humans, other animals and plants).
"This broad approach to disease ecology," says Scheiner, "will provide the understanding necessary to deal with future threats."
The benefits of EID research include development of disease transmission theory; understanding of unintended health effects of development projects; increased capacity to forecast disease outbreaks; and insights into how infectious diseases emerge and re-emerge.
"The need for this research is greater than ever today, because of climate change and other environmental and economic trends," says Josh Rosenthal, EID program director at NIH, "coupled with society's greater global mobility.
"Planes, trains, ships, animals and people criss-cross the globe. And with them both old and new diseases are being ferried," Rosenthal adds. "New approaches to understanding disease dynamics are critical to enable us to keep pace and control both emerging and remerging infections."
NSF-NIH Ecology of Infectious Diseases (EID) Awards
Title: Effects of land-use, predation and management on wildlife contact and Brucella transmission in the Yellowstone Ecosystem
Title: EcoHealthNet: Ecology, Environmental Science and Health Research Network
Title: Livestock Movements and Disease Epidemiology in the Chad Basin, Central Africa: Modeling Risks for Animals and Humans
Title: The community ecology of viral pathogens - Causes and consequences of co-infection in hosts and vectors
Title: The vector mosquito Aedes aegypti at the margins: sensitivity of a coupled natural and human system to climate change
Title: Monkeypox Ecology: An Integrated Approach to Investigations of the Sylvatic Reservoirs of Human Monkeypox
Title: Roles of a marine host cycle and particle aggregation in transmission of zoonotic pathogens in coastal ecosystems
Title: Ecology of a Reverse Zoonosis: Human-Environment Interactions in the Transmission, Persistence, and Virulence of White Pox Disease in Elkhorn Coral
Title: Initial Epidemic Conditions as Primary Determinants of Epidemic Spread: A Plant Disease Model
Title: Natural Selection, Host-Pathogen Interactions, and Insect Outbreaks
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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