The Division of Integrated Biodefense (DIB) executes research covering a
range of infectious disease threats to the human, animal, and plant world. The DIB
is comprised of a multidisciplinary group that includes individuals with public
health, epidemiology, medicine, information systems and technology, geography, foreign
language, applied mathematics, policy science, and other backgrounds.
A major emphasis in the Division concerns new and innovative approaches
to infectious disease surveillance. We investigate how to integrate diverse data
into meaningful and actionable streams of information. Our work spans the spectrum
of basic research, applied analysis, and policy questions. Some the high-level issues
we grapple with include
* How does
infectious disease manifest itself in terms of community behavior?
* Are there
population-level signatures of outbreaks, and how might they relate to data from
traditional public health surveillance?
* What indicators
of disease activity are sufficient to cue decisionmakers to investigate a potential outbreak more closely?
Another effort includes the application of mathematical modeling for understanding
the dynamics of infections in human and animal populations. In this area, we try
to understand the ecology of infectious disease and use that knowledge to inform
both qualitatively and quantitatively, about the emergence and spread
of infections. Items of particular focus include:
* The threat of foreign animal disease and exotic zoonotic infections
and analyzing control measures for such diseases
epidemic models to economic tools to produce information and analyses useful to
Division faculty participate in a range of research and academic
activities. In addition to the research described above, the DIB hosts MS and PhD
students from Georgetown University as well as graduate interns from other universities
in the National Capitol region. Faculty also teach and participate in public health
and medical education in multiple Georgetown departments.