A Special Report: Ecology of Infectious Diseases


November 9, 2005

West Nile virus.  Hantavirus.  Lyme disease.  All are infectious diseases spreading in animals, and in humans.  Is our interaction with the environment somehow responsible for the increase in incidence of these diseases?

A joint National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health program -- ecology of infectious diseases (EID) -- supports efforts to understand the underlying ecological and biological mechanisms behind human-induced environmental changes and the emergence and transmission of infectious diseases.  Projects funded through the EID program and other NSF programs allow scientists to study how large-scale environmental events—such as habitat destruction, invasions of non-native species and pollution—alter the risks of emergence of viral, parasitic and bacterial diseases in humans and animals.  See full report for details.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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