University of Michigan experts available to discuss latest avian flu

April 8, 2013
Written By:
Laurel Thomas

ANN ARBOR—As new cases of Avian flu, H7N9, are reported in China, the University of Michigan School of Public Health has several experts available to discuss various aspects of influenza including disease transmission, nonpharmaceutical interventions, antiviral resistance, quarantine, viruses and trauma.

Allison Aiello, associate professor of epidemiology, is an infectious disease expert. She can discuss aspects of identification, transmission, prevention, mitigation and social response to influenza outbreaks and pandemic planning, including rapid testing, transmission modes, vaccination uptake and nonpharmaceutical intervention measures such as mask use, hand hygiene, social distancing and quarantine.
Contact: (734) 615-9213,

Betsy Foxman, Hunein F. and Hilda Maassab Professor of Epidemiology, is director of the Center for Molecular and Clinical Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, and director of the Interdisciplinary Training Program in Infectious Diseases. She can discuss detecting disease transmission, interventions and analyzing the genetics of the organism, as well as the origins and spread of antiviral resistance and how influenza is transmitted among humans and between humans and animals.
Contact: (734) 764-5487 or (734) 764-5462 (assistant),

Peter Jacobson, professor of health management and policy, can discuss the legal issues of quarantine. His research focuses on the relationship between law and health care delivery and policy.
Contact: (734) 936-0928,

Dr. James Koopman, professor of epidemiology, specializes in infection flow through populations and the effects of control measures on the spread of infection. He develops computer models to help understand what causes infections to spread, to help decide how to control their transmission, and to determine what new data collection is needed to make control decisions. He can discuss quarantine, influenza, transmission and antiviral resistance, and is interested in issues of international travel, wearing masks and closing public events as means of controlling infection spread.
Contact: (734) 763-5629,

Dr. Howard Markel, professor of pediatrics, public health and history at the U-M Health System, is an expert on pandemics. Markel can discuss parallels between the Great Pandemic of 1918 and current emerging pandemic threats, including the medical, social and historical implications of civil restrictions and interventions. Markel’s projects with the Centers for Disease Control examine the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions in 1918 on major American cities, and his findings have helped to shape pandemic preparedness guidelines at the CDC and World Health Organization. Since 2006, he has served as the principal historical consultant on pandemic preparedness for the CDC.
Contact: (734) 647-6914,

Dr. Arnold Monto, Thomas Francis Jr. Collegiate Professor of Epidemiology, is an internationally known expert who can discuss transmission, prevention, mitigation and social response to influenza outbreaks and pandemic planning. This includes rapid testing, transmission modes, vaccination uptake and nonpharmaceutical intervention measures such as mask use, hand hygiene, social distancing and quarantine. He was a member of the World Health Organization, which advised the Director-General during the 2009 influenza pandemic. He served on the advisory board to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and consults each year with U.S. government agencies on influenza-related topics.
Contact: (734) 764-5453,

Pejman Rohani, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, study of complex systems, and epidemiology, researches the ecology and evolution of infectious disease systems. He uses mathematical, statistical and empirical approaches to examine the transmission dynamics of human and wildlife pathogens. Projects in the lab include the epidemiology, evolution and immunology of pertussis, dengue, avian influenza viruses, polio and vampire bat rabies. He can talk about avian flu in general.
Contact: (734) 615-4757,

Dr. Eden Wells, clinical associate professor of epidemiology and associate director of the Preventive Medicine Residency at the School of Public Health, has research interests in emerging infectious disease threats, including preparedness planning for pandemic influenza events. She formerly was with the Bureau of Epidemiology at the Michigan Department of Community Health, serving as a medical consultant and medical epidemiologist. She organized and facilitated the Michigan Pandemic Influenza Coordinating Committee, comprised of state agency pandemic planners, and assisted the development of Michigan’s State Pandemic Influenza Operational Plan utilized during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.
Contact: (734) 763-6880,

Mark Wilson, professor of epidemiology, 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. He can discuss disease transmission, global patterns of disease and relationship to human activity. His recent efforts have been directed at various “emerging” diseases including Lyme disease and raccoon rabies in the U.S. Other studies have involved 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.
Contact: (734) 936-0152,

Additional source with limited availability:

Dr. Matthew Boulton, associate professor of epidemiology, health management and policy, and director of the Preventive Medicine Residency, can discuss surveillance and field investigation of infectious diseases, uses of isolation and quarantine, assessment of the public health workforce and public health in China. He is founder and director of the U-M School of Public Health China CDC Scholar Exchange Program, collaborating with the China CDC in Tianjin and Beijing to facilitate scholar exchange and joint applied research. 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 overseeing all communicable disease control, immunization programs, environmental health, and vital records and health statistics for the state of Michigan.
Contact: (734) 936-1623,