MIDAS Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics

The Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics (CCDD) opened September 15, 2010, with a far-reaching mission as a national and international center for research, teaching and outreach to public health decision makers. The Center Director is Dr. Marc Lipsitch, Professor of Epidemiology at HSPH, who is a noted expert in modeling emerging infectious disease outbreaks and has collaborated with local, state, national and international public health agencies to address antimicrobial resistance, SARS, and pandemic and seasonal influenza.

Activities centered at HSPH benefit from close connections with funded collaborators at Boston University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Boston), University of Hong Kong, Columbia University, Rand, and University of Washington.

Project Director Alissa Scharf, MPH, worked for over ten years at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), with the last three years serving as the Deputy Director for Emergency Preparedness. Scharf’s areas of focus while at DPH were pandemic influenza, bioterrorism preparedness and MDR-TB.

CCCD is one of two Centers of Excellence funded through the National Institutes of Health’s Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study, also known as MIDAS.

Research areas include:

  • antimicrobial resistance
  • influenza pandemic preparedness and response
  • mechanisms and consequences of influenza seasonality
  • tuberculosis
  • statistical methods for infectious diseases
  • competitive interactions between strains of the same and different pathogen species
  • visualization tools for infectious disease data
  • integration of genomic data into infectious disease epidemiology

Educational and outreach activities include:

  • short courses taught in cooperation with Hong Kong University and other partners to teach public health scientists and decision makers about transmission dynamic modeling
  • active recruiting and support of infectious disease epidemiology students from underrepresented groups
  • annual symposia on topics in infectious disease epidemiology and modeling
  • development of novel courses and course materials for the HSPH curriculum, to enhance understanding of infectious disease dynamics
  • partnerships and exchanges with CDC and other public health agencies