U-M experts available to discuss West Nile Virus

August 23, 2012
Written By:
Laurel Thomas

The University of Michigan School of Public Health and U-M Medical School have a number of West Nile Virus experts to address the recent deadly outbreak in 47 states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says West Nile is being reported this season at numbers that outpace previous years, dating back to when the virus first was identified in 1999.

Dr. Matthew Boulton, associate professor of epidemiology, preventive medicine, internal medicine infectious disease division, and health management and policy at the School of Public Health. Contact: [email protected].

Boulton’s research interests include public health systems/services, surveillance and field investigation of infectious diseases, uses of isolation and quarantine, and assessment of the public health workforce. He is the former chief medical executive, state epidemiologist and director of the Bureau of Epidemiology for the Michigan Department of Community Health where he served as the state’s lead scientist/epidemiologist in 1998-2004, overseeing all communicable disease control, immunization programs, environmental health, and vital records and health statistics for the State of Michigan. Boulton currently serves on the CDC’s Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Sandro Cinti, associate professor of infectious diseases at the U-M Medical School. Contact: Justin Harris, (734)-764-2220, [email protected].

Cinti is an infectious diseases physician with ongoing involvement in the preparation for bioterrorism and emerging infections at the national, state and local level. He has been a member of the State of Michigan Bioterrorism Subcommittee since its inception in 1999 and is an external reviewer for the Communicable Diseases Plan being developed by the Michigan Department of Community Health. He also is a member of the Washtenaw County Bioterrorism Subcommittee and the Michigan Infectious Diseases Society Bioterrorism Subcommittee and currently serves as co-chairman of the Region 2 South Communicable Diseases Planning Team (formerly the Smallpox Response Planning Team) and as a member of the Region 2 South Advisory Committee.

JoLynn Montgomery, assistant research scientist of epidemiology at the School of Public Health. Contact: [email protected].

Montgomery is a communicable disease epidemiologist. Her primary focus is on applied epidemiology and public health practice with specialization in control of communicable diseases, vaccine preventable diseases, disease surveillance systems, and public health emergency preparedness and response. For several years she directed the Michigan Center for Public Health Preparedness where she trained state and local health department staff in epidemiology and disease surveillance. In her prior position with the Michigan Department of Community Health, Montgomery worked with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, rabies, West Nile virus, anthrax and many other communicable diseases. She actively seeks ways to use disease surveillance data to control infectious diseases.

Dr. Eden Wells, clinical assistant professor of epidemiology and associate director, Preventive Medicine Residency at the School of Public Health. Contact: [email protected].

Wells is a board-certified physician in both internal medicine and preventive medicine whose research interests include the integration of clinical and public health practice, emergency preparedness, applied epidemiology, disaster epidemiology, emerging public health threats and preventive medicine education. She recently was with the Bureau of Epidemiology, Michigan Department of Community Health, serving as a medical consultant and as a medical epidemiologist. While at MDCH, Wells’ activities included investigation of, and response to, public health incidents and outbreaks, and preparedness and response planning for emerging infectious disease threats.

Mark Wilson, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health. Contact: [email protected].

Wilson studies patterns of disease and the relationship to human activity. He is an ecologist and epidemiologist, with broad research interests in infectious diseases, including the analysis of transmission dynamics, the evolution of vector-host-parasite systems and the determinants of human risk. His recent efforts have been directed at various “emerging” diseases including ehrlichiosis (tick bite disease), Lyme disease, raccoon rabies, and hantaviruses in the U.S., leishmaniasis in the Middle East, dengue fever in South America, and malaria in Africa. He has used GPS and satellite imagery to analyze disease ecology in diseases such as dengue fever and malaria.

Brian Zikmund-Fisher, assistant professor of health behavior and health education at the School of Public Health. Contact: [email protected].

Zikmund-Fisher uses his interdisciplinary background in decision psychology and behavioral economics to study factors that affect individual decision-making about a variety of health and medical issues, with a particular emphasis on health and environmental risk perceptions and people’s ability to interpret quantitative information on health and medical choices. Among his research projects, Zikmund-Fisher studies factors that affect individual and organizational decision-making about health and medical issues, and how to improve communications about health risks.