CDC Funding for Vector-Borne Disease Center Renewed

8/9/2022 College of Veterinary Medicine, UIUC

Written by College of Veterinary Medicine, UIUC

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that funding for the Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-borne Disease will be renewed for another 5 years.

Professors Susan Paskewitz and Lyric Bartholomay co-direct the $10 million center headquartered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Rebecca Lee Smith, a Health Innovation Professor at Carle Illinois College of Medicine and an associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine (pictured here), serves as principal investigator for the center’s partnership on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Other partners are located in Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa.

“This award will continue to support our collaborative research program on understanding and predicting vector-borne disease risk,” said Smith.

The center addresses issues of critical importance to management of vector-borne disease in the United States, including those caused by viruses transmitted by mosquitoes (West Nile) as well as tick-borne pathogens like Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme Disease).

Over the next five years, center personnel will test and improve existing methods of mosquito and tick management and bite prevention, evaluate new products and methods, support the training of the next generation of medical/public health entomologists, and enhance a strong community of practice between academic scientists, public health organizations, mosquito control operations, and private pest control service providers.

Professor Smith also leads the I-Tick Program at the University of Illinois.

Editor’s note: The original version of this article by the UIUC College of Veterinary Medicine can be found here.

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This story was published August 9, 2022.