The Pandemic Influenza Outbreak Research Modelling (Pan-InfORM) team, chaired by Professor Seyed Moghadas in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics in the Faculty of Science, co-hosted a workshop on Oct. 3 and 4 at York University with the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID) and the International Centre for Infectious Diseases (ICID).
Titled “Public Health Challenges for Modelling and Infectious Diseases: From Communities of Practice to Communities of Health,” the workshop brought together a growing community of Canadian researchers who are using mathematical modelling to study public and global health problems.
“Since the 2003 SARS epidemic, the modelling community in Canada has implemented a new paradigm to engage with public health and stakeholders,” said Moghadas. “Pan-InfORM has been particularly successful in forging strong links between theory, policy and practice.”
The participants presented their latest research and participated in breakout sessions to develop research plans and approaches to address some major public health challenges in Canada, including respiratory illnesses like TB and influenza, syphilis, climate change and vector-borne diseases and immunization programs.
“The meeting was successful in creating a nexus of constructive critical dialogue on these grand challenges and identifying key questions to be addressed by several participating groups within the next two years,” said Moghadas.
The workshop was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, NCCID, ICID, Sanofi Pasteur, and York University.
The Pan-InfORM team was created with funding from CIHR in 2009 during the early stages of the influenza pandemic to evaluate mitigation strategies for pandemic preparedness and to provide guidance to public health planners and decision makers for optimizing health responses. An International Review of CIHR in 2011 recognized Pan-InfORM as one the two key initiatives launched during the last decade in the pandemic influenza domain. Since its inception, Pan-InfORM has expanded the breadth and depth of its expertise and knowledge translation activities to tackle a broader spectrum of infectious disease challenges, and it continues to be the leading network of research and training in modelling for public health in Canada.
For more information about the team, see http://pan-inform.yorku.ca/index.html