Santa Fe Institute
Stanislaw Ulam Memorial Lecture Series with Lauren Ancel Meyers. Lecture 2 of 2
Infectious disease outbreaks often emerge when and where we are least equipped to detect and control them. Over recent years, public health agencies have raced to prevent the global expansion of Ebola from Africa, Zika from South America and avian influenza from Asia. Digital disease detection–the use of social media and Internet search data to track outbreaks–may buy us life-saving time. Tweets, blogs and Wikipedia hits can reveal what’s ailing the world’s population more rapidly and at higher geographic resolution than official surveillance systems.
In the second of two lectures, Lauren Ancel Meyers takes us to the frontiers of influenza forecasting. Public health agencies struggle to predict seasonal epidemics and select the right virus strains for annual vaccines. Anticipating when and where a more deadly influenza pandemic might emerge is even more difficult. By leveraging network models and a growing ecosystem of health, social media and molecular data, scientists are chipping away at these critical challenges and confronting potentially insurmountable limits to predictability.
These two lectures are self-contained and can be enjoyed together or separately.
Lauren Ancel Meyers is Professor of Integrative Biology at The University of Texas at Austin, and a member of the External Faculty and Science Board of the Santa Fe Institute. She was trained as a mathematical biologist at Harvard and Stanford, and her research foci include network epidemiology, optimization of infectious disease surveillance and control, and translational tools for public health.
She has lead an interdisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, social scientists and public health professionals in uncovering the sociological and biological drivers of influenza transmission, improving disease control policies for influenza and HIV, redesigning disease surveillance systems to harness next-generation data, and creating decision-support software for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Association of Public Health Labs (APHL), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, the BBC, and other news sources have highlighted her work; and she has provided scientific expertise for government agencies, including the CDC, Institute of Medicine (IOM), Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and US National Intelligence Council. In 2004, Ancel Meyers was named by the MIT Technology Review as one of the top 100 global innovators under age 35.
Tickets are free, general admission