Colorado State University to Host Infectious Diseases Workshop and Conference

Infectious diseases experts will come to Colorado State University next week for the 3rd Annual International Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Conference and Workshop.   

The conference from May 19 to May 21 is expected to draw 120 people from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Switzerland and Australia. The conference theme is "Local Infections & Hierarchies of Disease Persistence." More than 50 people are scheduled to attend the preceding workshop from May 15 to May 18, which will focus on "Application of Disease Models to Long-Term Population Data."

"This conference and workshop brings together established scientists working in infectious diseases with the next generation – graduate students and post-doctoral researchers," said biology professor Michael F. Antolin, organizer of the event. "We aim to look closely at the question of how it is that diseases manage to hang in there year after year, to re-emerge and cause new infections even after we think they’ve gone. The workshop and meeting provide a relatively small and focused setting where all have plenty of time to ask probing questions and to have their questions addressed.  

"Further, this focuses attention of the next generation on the great work in infectious disease research being conducted in Fort Collins," he said.

The conference will be a two-day science meeting aimed at generating discussion on disease ecology and evolutionary biology between graduate students, post-docs and faculty. Presentations will address metapopulation dynamics, or how spatial and temporal structure affect disease persistence; superspreaders, focusing on how individuals and locations disproportionately influence disease spread; and immune responses, how immune systems influence infectivity, host population dynamics and pathogen virulence.

Advances in numerical and statistical models in infectious diseases have provided the opportunity for exploring how long-term population monitoring data can be analyzed in the context of disease dynamics, and the workshop will teach graduate students and post-doctoral researchers how to extract meaning patterns from long-term data sets.

The conference and workshop are sponsored by the National Science Foundation; Colorado State’s Program of Interdisciplinary Mathematics, Ecology and Statistics (PRIMES); the College of Natural Sciences; the Department of Biology; and the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology. Previous conferences were held at Pennsylvania State University and Emory University.

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