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Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics

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News
Epidemics MOOC launches again on September 29, 2014 Released on the Coursera platform in 2013, “Epidemics – the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases” was the first MOOC to address the ecology of infectious diseases. The Penn State course launches again on 29 Sept 2014.
Elyse E. Munoz Receives the ASM Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship Elyse E. Munoz, a Ph.D. genetics graduate student in the laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology faculty member, Scott Lindner, was named a 2014-2017 recipient of a Robert D. Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship
Ottar N. Bjørnstad named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Ottar N. Bjørnstad, professor of entomology, biology and statistics at Penn State, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed by peers upon members of the AAAS, the world's largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science.
Job Opportunities
Post-Doctoral Scientist: Bioinformatics of Molecular Parasitology The Allen and Lindner Labs at Penn State University (https://sites.psu.edu/AllenLab & http://sites.psu.edu/LindnerLab/) are recruiting an outstanding post-doctoral scientist to contribute to our joint efforts in characterizing the proteome of malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.). The Allen Lab studies the fundamental relationships between protein sequence, structure, and function using laboratory evolution, next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics, and simulation. The Lindner Lab uses cutting-edge approaches to conduct discovery-phase research with the aim of identifying weaknesses in the malaria parasite that can be exploited therapeutically. We are currently seeking a post-doctoral scientist in bioinformatics to develop structure-based models of protein evolution and apply these models to annotate the functions of poorly characterized Plasmodium genes. These efforts will help us to prioritize vaccine development efforts, and to better understand the basic biology of the parasite. — Posted Oct 30, 2014
Postdoctoral Position in Bacterial Pathogenesis, Host and Microbiota A Postdoctoral Research Fellow position is available in Penn State’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. The position involves analysis of the complex interactions between an invading pathogen and the resident microbiota. Our lab examines interactions between bacterial pathogens and host holobiome. We have developed experimental systems that can allow the detailed examination of molecular-level interactions in vivo, during natural-host infection. The current project will examine how the various players interact to show, for example, how one pathogen can be blocked by the resident microbiota but another can efficiently invade and displace the resident microbiota. The fertile areas of study include the various contributions of host immune functions and physiology, bacterial pathogenic mechanisms as well as the complex interactions of each with the resident microbes of the respiratory tract. — Posted Oct 30, 2014
Postdoctoral Researcher - Adaptive Management of Foot-and-Mouth Disease A postdoctoral position funded by the NSF-NIH-USDA-BBSRC Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease (EEID) Program is available with Dr. Matthew Ferrari (http://www.cidd.psu.edu/people/mjf283) and Dr. Katriona Shea (http://www.bio.psu.edu/People/Faculty/Shea/) in the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics (www.cidd.psu.edu) and the Department of Biology at the Pennsylvania State University (www.bio.psu.edu). — Posted Oct 06, 2014
Post-Doctoral Scholar in Molecular Parasitology The Lindner Lab at Penn State University (http://sites.psu.edu/LindnerLab/) is recruiting an outstanding post-doctoral scientist to become a part of our efforts to characterize the mechanisms of transmission and infectivity of malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.) between mammals and mosquitoes. The Lindner Lab uses cutting edge approaches to conduct discovery phase research with the aim of identifying weaknesses in the parasite that can be exploited therapeutically. To date our work has focused upon protein-RNA interactions that lead to translational repression of targeted mRNAs and a preferred RNA homeostasis, which are critical for efficient transmission and infectivity (See PMID 23325771 and 23421981). — Posted Oct 30, 2014
Highlights from recent research
Population viscosity suppresses disease emergence by preserving local herd immunity The emergence of novel human pathogens from zoonotic spillover events can be difficult to predict and prevent. Recent work by CIDD researcher Tim Reluga proposes a new theory to explain spillover events, using bridge community characteristics to predict epidemics.
Temperature and an immune-boosting diet affect infection intensity in malaria-vectoring mosquitoes Temperature and an immune-boosting diet affect infection intensity in malaria-vectoring mosquitoes Successful transmission of malaria parasites requires a complex interplay between the mosquito vector, malaria parasites and the environment. Malaria parasites have an intricate life cycle, encountering defenses produced by hosts and vectors, including the immune responses of mosquitoes. Understanding the relationship between vectors and the parasites they transmit is important and may vary by environmental factors, potentially affecting the efficacy of our control methods. Temperature is one important environmental factor that affects the development of malaria parasites and mosquitoes. Although temperature varies across and within different environments, most lab work is performed at constant temperatures, resulting in research that may not accurately reflect what is occurring in the field.
Elyse Munoz and Scott Lindner study the malaria parasite Elyse Muñoz -- a Ph.D. candidate in the Huck Institutes' Genetics program -- and Scott Lindner, an assistant professor of biochemistry & molecular biology at Penn State, study the malaria parasite.
Matt Ferrari studies long-term trends in childhood infectious diseases Matt Ferrari -- an assistant professor of biology and statistics at Penn State and a researcher in the Huck Institutes' Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics -- studies long-term trends in childhood infectious diseases.
Disease dynamics during wildlife translocations: disruptions to the host population and potential consequences for transmission in desert tortoise contact networks Disease dynamics during wildlife translocations: disruptions to the host population and potential consequences for transmission in desert tortoise contact networks Translocation, a practice currently used for species conservation, may detrimentally alter population dynamics and aid in pathogen transmission. Graduate student Christina Aiello and CIDD’s Peter Hudson explore the necessity for more complex risk assessment parameters to improve intervention strategies.
» More Highlights from recent research
Millennium Science Complex

Millennium Science Complex as viewed from Pollock Field.

Many CIDD faculty and their research groups have re-located to Penn State’s new Millennium Science Complex. This is a state-of-the art research facility which will become the gateway for interdisciplinary research between the Life Sciences and the Material Sciences’ faculty and students.

Find out more about the building.

From proteins to pandemics

CIDD brings together scientists in a range of complementary disciplines to innovate in infectious disease research.

More about CIDD

Monday discussion/tutorial
TBA Dr. Ephraim Hanks, Penn State Assistant Professor of Statistics, will lead the discussion.
Upcoming events

CIDD seminars are publicized on the Huck Institutes website

Monday discussions are held every Monday at 12pm in W-203 Millennium Science Complex

 
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