[Bionews] Call for Applications: NIMBioS Investigative Workshop on Malaria Modeling and Control

Catherine Crawley via bionews%40net.bio.net (by ccrawley from nimbios.org)
Thu Jan 13 14:48:04 EST 2011

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis
(NIMBioS) is now accepting applications for its *"Malaria Modeling and
Control Investigative Workshop" *to be held June 15-17, 2011, at NIMBioS.

Objectives: Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease, transmitted
by mosquitoes. In 2008, 243 million malaria cases led to about 863000
deaths, a slight drop from 2006 statistics. This slight drop in
mortality resulted from a number of improved policies: increased
international funding for research and healthcare, provision of
insecticide-treated bednets, and a revival of support for indoor
residential insecticide spraying. Despite this slight drop, challenges
like drug resistance, the global financial slow-down and changing
climatic conditions pose a threat to malaria control efforts.
Mathematical models continue to play a major role in studies of malaria
transmission dynamics and control. Although existing models have
advanced our understanding of malaria, new models are urgently needed to
capture new challenges to malaria control. Of note, there are increasing
reports of malaria even in places where it had been eradicated. A model
that captures mosquito dynamics with respect to current climatic
changes, incorporates the use of a potential vaccine, and reflects the
economic burden of the malaria-afflicted nations can inform policy
makers on the most effective combination of control tools. Such a model
can therefore help to reduce the malaria burden significantly, as well
as contribute to finding a means to eradicate malaria in the near
future. This workshop will bring together experts in the mathematics and
biology of malaria dynamics to discuss cutting-edge approaches to
modeling malaria transmission and control, with the goal of forming a
global Working Group to develop a model that would incorporate pertinent
workshop questions.

The workshop will address the following questions:

   1. How effective are present malaria control measures? What can be
      done to eradicate malaria in the near future? Can we generate a
   2. What is the current state of things with malaria modeling? How do
      we capture the dynamics of the mosquito population to reflect
      climatic changes and global warming issues in order to produce an
      accurate model that represents the dynamics of the vector population?
   3. What is the most realistic combination of control schemes that
      take into account feasibility and the health and economy of
      endemic areas most affected by malaria?
   4. Will control mechanisms be more effective if based on the make-up
      of the population at risk- for instance genetic makeup and other
      physical properties such as high attractants to mosquitoes? What
      factors are more pertinent to consider in this regard?
   5. How can vaccines be effectively captured in a malaria model that
      addresses questions 3 and 4 and can advance and provide answers to
      question 1?

*Location: *NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

*Co-Organizers: *Miranda I. Teboh-Ewungkem (Dept. of Mathematics,
Lafayette College, Easton, PA); Folashade Agusto (NIMBioS, Univ.
Tennessee, Knoxville); Frederick Baliraine (Univ. California, San
Francisco, Dept. of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, San
Francisco General Hospital)

For more information about the workshop and a link to the online
application form, go to http://www.nimbios.org/workshops/WS_malaria_modeling

If needed, applicants may request travel and lodging support.
Participation is limited, and those selected to attend will be notified
within two weeks of the application deadline. *Application deadline:
March 13, 2011*

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis
(NIMBioS) brings together researchers from around the world to
collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to investigate solutions to
basic and applied problems in the life sciences. NIMBioS is sponsored by
the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture with additional support
from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Catherine Crawley, Ph.D.
Communications Coordinator
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)
University of Tennessee
1534 White Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996-1527
Phone: (865) 974-9350
Fax: (865) 974-9461
Email: ccrawley from nimbios.org
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