A scientific workshop, as part of the pan-Canadian MPE2013 thematic
program “Models and Methods in Ecology, Epidemiology and Public Health
(M2E2)”, started at CRM today.
The workshop, focusing on models and methods in ecology and epidemiology,
was designed to initiate a conversation for the subsequent activities of
the Pan-Canadian thematic year in the hope that some barriers might be
broken between the practitioners of the different modeling techniques and
approaches. An effort was made by the organizers (Jacques Bélair and
Jianhong Wu) to engage geographically close and scientific
expertise-diversified participants as well as participants of other
planned workshops of the year, to insure that research collaborations will
persist after this particular workshop, and that most if not all the
modeling techniques to be addressed during the year will be at least
partially explored at this workshop.
The opening session of the workshop organizers presented a brief review of
a few interdisciplinary research projects funded by two NCE centers
(MITACS and GEOIDE) on mathematical contributions to addressing issues of
major public health concern relevant to Lyme disease, avian influenza and
West Nile virus. Some success has been made in developing an approach
integrating lab test/experiment, bioinformatics, surveillance and
statistical analysis, geo-simulations and mathematical modeling, but much
challenge remains to develop and enhance large-scale interdisciplinary
research capacity linking qualitative and fundamental sciences to public
health policy decision making and practice.
The main organizers of the pan-Candian thematic program are Frithjof
Lutscher (U of Ottawa), Jacques Bélair (U de Montréal), Mark Lewis (U of
Alberta), James Watmough (U of New Brunswick), and Jianhong Wu (York U).