The Public Health Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh is on the vanguard of public health research and computational modeling. The following programs represent the next generation of major Pitt projects to take advantage of this intersection of disciplines.
Individual-based Simulation of Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Epidemics (CDC) The Influenza Modeling for Public Health (iMPH) project brings together four groups experienced in the agent-based modeling of influenza, including the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory (PHDL); the Pittsburgh Vaccine Research Group (PittVax); vaccine policy experts who are site leads in both the inpatient and outpatient CDC influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) networks; the DELPHI (Developing the Theory and Practice of Epidemiological Forecasting) group at CMU; and the current MIDAS Network Coordination Center (MCC) with its major data and model coordination expertise. iMPH aims are to create biologically-based influenza models, including the development and over-time maintenance of immunity. The project aims to use these models for testing the efficacy of different prevention strategies in both seasonal and pandemic influenza. In addition to a variety of vaccination strategies, the modeling will test community-based intervention strategies, including school closures and work-from-home scenarios. Mark S Roberts. MD, MPP, Principal Investigator. Funding provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Individual-based Simulation of Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Epidemics Covid Supplement (CDC) This project is an emergency-response supplement to the Individual-based Simulation of Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza Epidemics project described above. It expands the scope of the above project to include the COVID-19 pandemic. Mark S Roberts. MD, MPP, Principal Investigator. Funding provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Advancing Analytics to Improve Actionable Changes in the Opioid Overdose Epidemic - Phase II (CDC) This is the continuation of the Phase I project. That project, under a separate CDC contract, utilized the PHDL-developed Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiologic Dynamics (FRED) platform to development a simulation model for understanding the opioid epidemic. This Phase II project enhances the simulation model to allow for increasing detail, flexibility, and input from both existing and new data sources. Mark S Roberts. MD, MPP, Principal Investigator. Funding provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Opioid Dashboard Phase II (PA) Mark S Roberts. MD, MPP, Principal Investigator. Funding provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Problem Solving Courts Project (CDC) In some circumstances, arrested individuals can participate in Problem Solving Courts (PSCs) as an alternative to being sentenced to traditional correctional facilities, e.g., jail or prison. PSCs specialize in one type of offense, such as drug- or domestic violence-related offenses, and seek to identify and treat the underlying problems leading to the offenses. This Problem Solving Courts Program investigates how PSC interventions provided to individuals arrested in the State of Indiana for drug offenses impact morbidity and mortality outcomes. Elizabeth Van Nostrand, JD, Temple University, Principal Investigator. Funding provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Genetic, Social, and Developmental Epidemiology of Drug Use Disorders (NIDA) This program researches the etiology, consequences and causes of desistance of drug use disorders (DUD), examining data on the entire population of Sweden. Program items include studying how strongly DUD can be predicted by measures of IQ and personality at age 18 for a given group of Swedish males; studying how immigration-related factors, such as residential segregation, impact DUD risk first and second generation immigrants to Sweden using analytical Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods; and developing longitudinal models to clarify the social, psychiatric, and medical consequences of DUD using co-relative designs to control for familial confounding. Principal Investigator: Kenneth Kendler, MD, Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University. Funding provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
University of Pittsburgh MIDAS Center of Excellence (NIGMS) The Modeling of Infectious Disease Agent Study was initiated by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) to investigate novel computational and mathematical models of existing and emerging infectious diseases. In 2009, the University of Pittsburgh was designated a MIDAS National Center of Excellence, leading a collaborative network of scientists in the development and the use of computational models that will prepare the nation to respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as the H1N1 swine flu. MIDAS' research mission includes the development of computational tools for the analysis of the dynamics of emergent diseases and for the predictive evaluation of the effectiveness of proposed intervention strategies.
Framework for Behavioral Risk Models of Alcohol Problems (NIAAA) This research project aims to identify mechanisms underlying alcohol-related problems and provide a framework for developing comprehensive preventive interventions at the community level. This project utilizes the PHDL-developed Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiologic Dynamics (FRED) platform. Christina F Mair, PhD, MPH, Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences (BCHS), Principal Investigator. Funding provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).