Welcome to the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory
The Public Health Dynamics Laboratory (PHDL) is an interdisciplinary activity at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh focused on the development of computational methods to improve the theory and the practice of public health. The PHDL includes over 40 faculty and staff, including epidemiologists, biostatisticians, behavioral scientists, public health policy experts and computational scientists to produce the next generation of analysis tools for the exploration of critical public health problems.
Areas of active research include:
- Infectious disease dynamics
- Spatial epidemiology
- Global open access public health databases
- Vaccine distribution in developing countries
- Public health response to epidemics and other emergencies
- Social networks and effects on obesity, smoking, and other health behaviors
- Dynamics of community violence
The PHDL is on the vanguard of public health research and computational modeling, and takes an active role in the development of open source computational tools for the analysis of public health issues.
Some of our systems are highlighted in the display on this page. These databases and programs support several major research projects including:
- University of Pittsburgh Modeling of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) National Center of Excellence (NIGMS) prepares the nation to respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as the H1N1 swine flu.
- Vaccine Modeling Initiative (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) focuses on the evaluation of new vaccine technologies for diseases that affect millions of people globally, helping public health experts make decisions about vaccine strategies that have the greatest likelihood to succeed.
- Public Health Adaptive Systems Studies (PHASYS) is a CDC Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center. By creating computational models of legal, economic and operational preparedness in each state, this project enables better planning for emergency response, and create new tools for real-time assessment of adaptive change within the public health system.
The PHDL also serves as a link between Graduate School of Public Health, the University of Pittsburgh Center for Simulation and Modeling and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, as well as the Schools of Medicine, Engineering, Art and Science and collaborators at Carnegie Mellon University. The PHDL provides an invigorating research environment for faculty, students and post-doctoral fellows interested in advancing computational approaches to problems in public health.