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Infectious Disease Institute

Infectious Disease Institute

Bringing together theoreticians and empirical scientists in a wide variety of disciplines to collaborate and innovate in the area of infectious disease research

Comprising the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics and the Center for Molecular Immunology and Infectious Disease, the Infectious Disease Institute and its faculty are at the leading edge of infectious disease research at Penn State.

The Institute and its faculty also support the Huck Institutes' Immunology and Infectious Diseases graduate program.

Recent publications
Malaria infection risk influenced by daily temperature variations Identifying areas of malarial infection risk depends more on daily temperature variation than on the average monthly temperatures, according to a team of researchers who believe that their results may also apply to environmentally temperature-dependent organisms other than the malaria parasite.
Flu outbreaks are modeled by a new study of classroom schedules Using high-school schedule data for a community of students, teachers, and staff, Marcel Salathé and Timo Smieszek have developed a low-cost but effective method to determine how to focus disease-control strategies based on which individuals are most likely to spread the infection.
Parasite burden is linked positively to rank in a primate social network Alex Hernandez and a team of researchers find that high-ranking Japanese macaque females are more likely to become key hosts or even "superspreaders" in the transmission of parasites within their social groups.
News
Stigmatization may have once served to protect early humans from infectious diseases, but that strategy may do more harm than good for modern humans, according to Penn State researchers including Rachel Smith and David Hughes. Stigmas, once evolutionarily sound, are now bad health strategies - Full article
A new suite of tools in the Millennium Science Complex is helping scientists experience data like never before. Health researchers build bridges with Penn State’s new visualization wall - Full article
Two teams – one of them led by Huck Institutes researcher Manuel Llinás – have independently discovered that a single regulatory protein acts as the master genetic switch that triggers the development of male and female sexual forms (termed gametocytes) of the malaria parasite, solving a long-standing mystery in parasite biology with important implications for human health. A key regulatory protein is discovered to be essential for malaria parasite transmission to mosquitos - Full article
Events
Apr 24, 2014 Thursday 11:00 AM
Deborah Gordon (Stanford University)
Ants and the evolution of collective behavior.
May 1, 2014 Thursday 11:00 AM
Janice Moore (Colorado State University)
Evolution and ecology of parasite-induced behavioral alterations.