PHHP doctoral students Jacob Ball, M.A., and Salah Uddin Khan, D.V.M., M.V.P.H., were among just three American participants and 18 worldwide chosen to attend an infectious diseases workshop held in Merida, Mexico in November.
Funded by the French government through the Center of Excellence for the study of Biodiversity in Amazonia, and hosted by Autonomous University of Yucatan in Merida, Mexico, the workshop provided doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows with information on advances in the ecology, evolution and control of infectious diseases with a focus on innovative research on multi-host and/or multi-pathogen dynamics. Courses were led by internationally-recognized experts from institutions around the world.
“The methods we discussed will provide me with new analytical approaches to address my research question and take my project in new directions,” said Ball, a doctoral student in epidemiology who is studying the transmission dynamics of Nipah virus, a deadly virus that is transmitted from bats to pigs and humans in Malaysia, and from bats to humans in Bangladesh. “Beyond learning new methods, the workshop provided me with intellectual resources and collaborators from all over the world.”
In his research, Khan, a Ph.D. student in the department of environmental and global health, seeks to determine the risk factors and geographic distribution of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in Bangladesh.
“A part of my dissertation research is to apply infectious disease modeling techniques to assess risk of zoonotic influenza virus infection in occupationally-exposed populations and to evaluate the efficacy of current interventions,” he said. “The workshop gave me a better view of the specific tools needed for the methodological approaches.”