Surveillance, Monitoring Absenteeism &

Respiratory Transmission in Schools

Investigative Team

Principal Investigator Derek Cummings, PhD, MHS, MS, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and University of Florida, has worked on both large-scale influenza simulation projects and field studies of influenza transmission. He previously served as an investigator on the Pittsburgh Influenza Prevention Project (PIPP) and currently leads the Fluscape project studying influenza patterns in China. He is also involved with the Modeling of Infectious Disease Agents Study (MIDAS) at the University of Pittsburgh. The goal of his research is to understand the dynamics of the spread of infectious disease to best inform interventions.

Co-Principal Investigator Shanta Zimmer, MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, is an infectious diseases physician with extensive research experience in immunology and vaccinology. She is a member of the vaccine modeling initiatives at the Graduate School of Public Health and has been involved in pandemic influenza projects, where she led efforts to perform one of the earliest sero-surveys in the U.S. during the H1N1 pandemic. Her interests include understanding transmission of influenza and benefits of various prevention strategies.

Co-Investigator Jonathan Read, PhD, Institute of Infection and Global Health, University of Liverpool, has worked on several large-scale studies measuring the social contact patterns of people around the world. His interests lie in relating the spread of influenza and other infections to the patterns of travel and encounters made by people, and how future changes in those patterns may affect the evolution of these infections.

Co-Investigator / Project Manager Charles J. Vukotich, Jr., MS, Center for Public Health Preparedness, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, has over 35 years experience in management of public health. Mr. Vukotich is an expert in school-based research, combining management expertise with research experience. Mr. Vukotich was also a member of the PIPP team.

Project Coordinator Rachael Bieltz, MPH, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh has worked on a variety of topics including public health and clinical research, health education, and public health workforce development for over ten years . She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public health with a focus on Behavioral and Community Health Sciences.

Graduate Research Assistant Jacob Carey, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, is a graduate student studying infectious disease dynamics and statistical modeling. Before attending Johns Hopkins, he worked as a data analyst in industry.

Graduate Research Assistant Talia Quandelacy, ScM, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is a PhD student in infectious disease epidemiology. Her interests include understanding seasonal forcing mechanisms of childhood respiratory infections, influenza dynamics and control strategies, and the evolution of zoonotic diseases. Her dissertation work focuses on understanding the role of children in school-settings in relation to community-level influenza transmission.

Research Assistant Kyra Grantz, Department of Biology and Emerging Pathogens Institute, University of Florida, is a research assistant providing both scientific and administrative support to SMART2. Her interests include using statistical and mechanistic models to understand disease dynamics and evaluate intervention strategies.

Co-Investigators John Grefenstette, PhD, Hasan Guclu, PhD, and Shawn Brown, PhD, Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Greffenstette is the Director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory; Dr. Guclu and Dr. Brown are faculty. All three investigators are associated with MIDAS. They have worked on both large-scale influenza simulation projects, as well as the simulation of many other diseases.

CDC Staff Consultants, Jeanette Rainey, PhD, MPH, Yenlik Zheteyeva, MD, MPH, and Amra Uzicanin, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will provide technical assistance in study design, data analysis, and in the preparation of manuscripts resulting from this study.