Zika virus found in Florida: U-M experts available

July 29, 2016
Contact: Laurel Thomas ltgnagey@umich.edu

EXPERTS ADVISORY

Florida health officials this morning confirmed four cases of the Zika virus in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the first known transmission from mosquitoes in the continental United States. The University of Michigan has experts who can discuss the virus:

Joseph Eisenberg, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, is an expert on infectious disease epidemiology and has 20 years of experience in microbial risk assessment work focused on water quality. He is part of a group of scientists from around the country who are involved with the Modeling Infectious Disease Agents Study, an NIH-funded program that focuses on infectious disease transmission modeling with a particular focus on waterborne pathogens. Their work has informed recent Ebola projections about infection rates and deaths.

Contact: 734-764-5435, jnse@umich.edu


Marisa Eisenberg, assistant professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, is an expert in modeling infectious diseases, particularly cholera and waterborne disease in Haiti, Thailand and Africa. She has also studied other infectious diseases, such as dengue, chikungunya and Ebola. She is part of a group of scientists from around the country who are involved with the Modeling Infectious Disease Agents Study, an NIH-funded program that focuses on infectious disease transmission modeling. Their work has informed recent Ebola projections about infection rates and deaths.

Contact: 734-763-2991, marisae@umich.edu


Aubree Gordon, assistant professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, works on infectious disease epidemiology and global health, particularly the epidemiologic features and transmission of influenza and dengue fever in Nicaragua. Her research also includes study of Zika virus, and she is conducting testing with her pediatric cohort and making plans to launch a pregnancy study as well.

Contact: 734-763-3580, gordonal@umich.edu


Scott Greer, associate professor of health management and policy, is a political scientist who researches how politicians and political systems manage public health issues that arise in Europe and the United States. His research includes development of European communicable disease control and the U.S. response to Ebola as an example of the American way of handling public health crises.

Contact: 615-3711, slgreer@umich.edu


Peter Jacobson, professor of health management and policy at the School of Public Health, can discuss the legal issues involving the spread of infectious diseases, including quarantine. His research focuses on the relationship between law and public health, health care delivery and policy.

Contact: 734-936-0928, pdj@umich.edu


Emily Toth Martin, assistant professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, is an infectious disease epidemiologist with a focus on virus epidemiology and the use of vaccines and therapies to prevent and treat infection. Her research includes optimizing the use of diagnostics for viral diseases.

Contact: 734-647-4723, etmartin@umich.edu


Dr. Arnold Monto, the Thomas Francis Jr. Collegiate Professor of Epidemiology, is an internationally known expert on the transmission, prevention, mitigation and social response to outbreaks and pandemic planning. This includes transmission modes.

Contact: 734-764-5453, asmonto@umich.edu


Janet Smith, research professor at the Life Sciences Institute, and her colleagues at the LSI’s Center for Structural Biology, for years have worked on understanding how flaviviruses—like dengue fever, West Nile and Zika—replicate and spread infection.
Their research was the first to solve the physical structure of a difficult to isolate protein, called NS1, in West Nile and dengue. NS1 is produced inside infected cells, where it plays a key role in replication and spread of the virus. The 3-D images they created show which parts of the protein help the virus replicate and which parts may interact with the immune system, and thus provide important information toward designing a vaccine or therapeutic drug.

Contact: Ian Demsky, 734-647-9837, idemsky@umich.edu


Alexandra Stern is a professor of American culture and holds appointments in the departments of History, Women’s Studies, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Her research focuses on the history of eugenics, genetics, society, and justice in the U.S. and Latin America.

Contact: 734-936-5902, amstern@umich.edu


Dr. Marjorie Treadwell, director of the U-M Fetal Diagnosis Center, is a maternal and fetal medicine expert who can discuss the Zika virus and the concerns for pregnant women.

Contact: Call Beata Mostafavi at 734-764-2220.


Mark Wilson, professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health, is an ecologist and epidemiologist with broad research interests in infectious diseases, including the analysis of transmission dynamics and the environmental and social determinants of risk. His studies have addressed various arthropod vector-transmitted and emerging diseases such as Lyme disease, malaria, leishmaniasis and dengue fever. He can discuss disease transmission, global patterns of disease and relationship to human activity.

Contact: 734-936-0152, wilsonml@umich.edu

 

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