The Use of Pathogen Genetic Data for Informing the Spread of Infectious Diseases Within and Between Individuals

The Triangle Center for Evolutionary Medicine (TriCEM) and the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) are pleased to announce the symposium "The Use of Pathogen Genetic Data for Informing the Spread of Infectious Diseases Within and Between Individuals."

We are delighted to invite you to a 2 day meeting on Nov 17 and 18 at the Solutions Center in RTP. You can find the agenda at http://bit.ly/1NTWfHv.

While epidemiologists, virologists, and other infectious disease researchers are increasingly considering pathogen sequence data to address the fundamental questions of concern to them, it is clear from published studies that the quantitative interpretation of pathogen phylogenies and calculated population genetic metrics by a subset of these researchers can still be considerably improved. Evolutionary biologists, on the other hand, are often naïve in their understanding of epidemiological issues such as selection bias and confounding, while having a firm grasp on the interpretation of genetic data. Furthermore, few approaches exist that integrate multiple sources of epidemiological or virological data, such as pathogen genetic data and count data. As a result, many epidemiological and virological analyses miss opportunities to synthesize across available datasets to yield a consistent picture of pathogen spread. The purpose of the proposed meeting is to bring together experts in infectious disease with experts in phylogenetics/population genetics across the Triangle. The primary aim in this “meeting of the minds” will be for both sets of researchers to develop a more in-depth appreciation of the complexities and issues surrounding the use of pathogen genetic data in infectious disease research. A second aim is for this meeting to spur productive collaborative interactions between these two sets of researchers.

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