Goodrich C. White Professor of Environmental Studies,
and Chair, Department of Environmental Sciences
E511 Math and Science Center
B.Sc., Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
M.P.H., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
My research and teaching programs center around the eco-epidemiology of infectious diseases, with an emphasis on tropical and emerging diseases and environmental risk factors. In our global health research we emphasize anthropogenic changes, including issues of climate, urbanization, agricultural practices and conservation.
For diseases such as Dengue, Malaria, Schistosomiasis, West Nile virus in Atlanta and in Chicago, and Chagas disease, our group studies the transmission dynamics and ecology of the insect vectors and the mammalian and avian reservoir hosts, incorporating a strong field component (trapping vertebrates, collecting insects, identifying environmental features), spatial analysis, and laboratory work.
In our lab, we apply tools such as geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing to gather and manage environmental data that can explain the spatial distribution of disease and vectors, and assess risk of transmission. Following quantitative spatial analysis, maps and models can then be produced to target further research efforts, as well as in support of surveillance and control efforts by public health agencies.
Current research efforts funded by NIH, NSF and CDC include large-scale collaborative international studies of malaria and schistosomiasis in Kenya, Chagas disease in Argentina and dengue in Brazil, Peru and Australia, and of West Nile virus and eco-epidemiology of disease emergence in urban areas in the U.S.
Teaching interests include Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Spatial Epidemiology and Ecological Parasitology. Training of a diverse group of undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers in the U.S. and globally is a major theme of all of our research projects. As part of our training program we also conduct GIS workshops for researchers, public health practitioners and students. Interest in application and communication of scientific information is manifested in our collaborations with Local, State, National and International Public Health Agencies.
Selected Recent Publications:
2010. Ruiz MO, Chaves LF, Hamer GL, Sun T, Brown WM, Walker ED, Haramis L, Goldberg TL, Kitron UD. Local impact of temperature and precipitation on West Nile virus infection in Culex species mosquitoes in northeast Illinois, U.S.A. Parasites & Vectors 3: 19.
2011. Mutuku F, King CH, Bustinduy A, Mungai P, Muchiri E, Kitron U. Impact of drought on the spatial pattern of transmission of Schistosoma haematobium in coastal Kenya. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 85: 165-170. PMID: 22144445.
2011. Mutuku FM, King CH, Mungai P, Mbogo C, Mwangangi J, Muchiri EM, Walker ED, Kitron U. Impact of insecticide-treated bed nets on malaria transmission indices on the south coast of Kenya. Malaria Journal 2011, 10:356. PMID: 22165904.
2012. Vazquez-Prokopec GM, Spillmann C, Zaidenberg M, Gurtler RE, Kitron U. Spatial Heterogeneity and Risk Maps of Community Infestation by Triatoma infestans in Rural Northwestern Argentina. PLoS NTD 6(8): e1788. PMID: 229052762013.
2013. Stoddard ST, Forshey BM, Morrison AC, Paz-Soldan VA, Vazquez-Prokopec GM, Astete H, Reiner Jr RC, Vilcarromero S, Elder JP, Halsey E, Kochel TJ, Kitron U, Scott TW. House-to-house human movement drives dengue virus transmission. PNAS. 110(3): 994-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1213349110. PMID: 23277539.
2013. Mutuku FM, Khambira M, Bisanzio D, Mungai P, Mwanzo I, Muchiri ME, King CH, Kitron U. Physical condition and maintenance of mosquito bed nets in Kwale County, coastal Kenya. Malaria Journal 12:46. DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-12-46.
2013. Vazquez-Prokopec GM, Bisanzio D, Stoddard ST, Paz-Soldan V, Morrison AC, Elder JP, Ramirez-Paredes J, Halsey ES, Kochel TJ, Scott TW, Kitron U. Using GPS technology to quantify human mobility, dynamic contacts and infectious disease dynamics in a resource-poor urban environment. PLOS ONE. 8(4): e58802. doi:10.1371/ 2013.
2013. Levine RS, Mead DG, Kitron U. Limited Spillover to Humans from West Nile Virus Viremic Birds in Atlanta, GA. VBZD. 13: 11, 1-6.