Infectious Disease

people carrying body on stretcher

Faculty in the School of Public Health Division of Epidemiology & Community Health design and implement research aimed at increasing our understanding of a wide variety of infectious diseases and conduct studies to evaluate disease prevention and control efforts. A strong focus is placed on infectious disease methodology, including transmission dynamics, screening strategies, decision and cost-effectiveness modeling, technology-based public health interventions, and randomized community intervention trials.

A number of faculty have research interests and collaborations internationally, especially in sub-Saharan African countries including Ethiopia, Uganda, Mali, and Tanzania. Other collaborations exist in South America (Brazil) and Europe (France and UK).

An Infectious Disease Epidemiology Concentration is available for students enrolled in the Epidemiology MPH. In addition to coursework, faculty work with students to help identify potential infectious disease related field experience placements.

Assessment of a community support intervention for persons living with HIV in rural Ethiopia
Alan Lifson

In Ethiopia, more than a quarter of HIV patients drop out of a health provider’s care one year after starting treatment, leading to greater risk in developing severe illness or even death, and are at greater risk of spreading HIV to others.

This study, which takes place in southern Ethiopia, is a randomized community trial evaluating the efficacy of partnering community support workers with HIV patients to provide education, counseling/social support, and linkage to the HIV clinic. 2,600 HIV patients who are newly enrolled in care will be followed for at least three years, with a primary goal of improving retention in HIV care, and secondary goals of improving client knowledge, attitudes, feeling of social support, quality of life, and clinical status. Read more about this study.


CisNet – Comparative modeling to inform cervical cancer control policies
Shalini Kulasingam

New technologies, including screening tests and vaccines against human papillomavirus (HPV) — a sexually-transmitted virus known to cause cervical cancer — are dramatically changing the landscape of cervical cancer prevention in the U.S. and worldwide. To address important evidence gaps in cervical cancer control, this grant has assembled five independent research teams who have been at the frontier of modeling cervical cancer prevention over the last decade. These teams aim to: engage in formal comparative modeling; evaluate the comparative and cost-effectiveness of screening and vaccination strategies; and disseminate results to inform health policies and decision. View a related video about the HPV vaccine.


Restore: Improving sexual outcomes of gay and bisexual men after prostate cancer treatment
Simon Rosser

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cancer in gay and bisexual men (GBM), yet it has been severely under-researched. Because there have been no treatment studies of GBM with PCa, we do not know how well treatments work in this population. Moreover, because gay sex differs from vaginal sex, physiologically; the results from 614 studies focused on heterosexual men likely do not generalize to GBM with PCa. This study tests the effects of a multi-component online treatment program tailored for GBM survivors on their sexual and urinary outcomes. If successful, the study will demonstrate a new standard of rehabilitation care for this population.

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