March 12, 2009

4-6 PM

Cannon Room, HMS Quad



Speaker:                                  Marc Lipsitch, PhD


Title:                                        “Responding to Pandemics: Looking Back, Looking Forward and Trying to Do It Better On the Fly."


Question:                                Given a new emerging disease, what is the appropriate suite of control measures, and how can they be most effectively applied and monitored?


Quantitative Method:               Infectious disease transmission modeling (ordinary differential equations); statistical evaluations of historic control measures; optimization approaches.


Medical Impact:                       Quantitative studies of modeled pandemics provide general principles for what control measures can work in what circumstances.  Historical studies allow us to estimate parameters of prior epidemics and to place potential future ones in parameter space and provide evidence-based plans for mitigation.  Moreover, historical approaches allow us to test the theoretical predictions for what kinds of control measures should work.  Looking forward, we are developing techniques to allow rational prioritization of limited control measures (e.g. vaccines, anti-infectives) to optimally reduce transmission.


Speaker URL:               


Suggested Reading:               Hatchett RJ, Mecher CE, Lipsitch M.  Public health interventions and epidemic intensity during the 1918 influenza pandemic.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 2007; 104:7582-7.