Featured speakers

Professor Joshua S Weitz, Tom and Marie Patton Professor of Biological Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, US

TITLE: Modeling, Interventions, and the Ongoing Need for Pandemic Response and Mitigation Instruments

ABSTRACT:The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the health and well-being of communities all across the globe. From the outset, epidemic theory and models have played a key role in advancing understanding of the potential threat and in shaping public health responses. In this talk, I will highlight both near- and long-term challenges in controlling Covid-19. In doing so, I will focus on efforts to characterize non-canonical features of spread (including gathering-associated risk, behavioral feedback, and the impacts of heterogeneity) as well as efforts to use testing (including PCR and serological tests) as a means to mitigate and control spread. In closing, I will also highlight lessons learned and ongoing opportunities for use-inspired theory and modeling initiatives to enhance response, decision-making, and mitigation instruments.

Prof. Joshua S. Weitz is the Tom and Marie Patton Professor of Biological Sciences and the Founding Director of the Quantitative Biosciences Graduate Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his PhD in Physics from MIT in 2003, was a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University from 2003-6, and started his faculty position in Biology at Georgia Tech in 2007. Weitz is a Fellow of AAAS and the American Academy of Microbiology and his team’s work is supported, in part, by the Simons Foundation, NIH, NSF, ARO, CDC, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Weitz leads a multidisciplinary research team whose central goal is to understand how viruses transform human health and the fate of our planet.
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Carissa A. Low, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Psychology, and Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh, US

TITLE:Opportunities for Mobile Sensing in Patient-Centered Research

ABSTRACT:As smartphones and consumer wearable devices become more ubiquitous, there is a growing opportunity to capture rich mobile sensor data continuously, passively, and in real-world settings with minimal burden. Changes in these passively sensed digital biomarkers may reflect meaningful variation in patient functional status, symptom burden, quality of life, and risk for adverse clinical outcomes. This talk will highlight recent and ongoing research leveraging mobile sensing for remote monitoring of cancer patients between clinical encounters and for personalization of behavioral interventions and will discuss challenges and opportunities in applying these novel methods to clinical research and care.

Carissa A. Low, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Psychology, and Biomedical Informatics and Director of the Mobile Sensing and Health Institute at the University of Pittsburgh and Adjunct Faculty in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. She received her PhD in clinical health psychology from UCLA in 2008 and completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh before joining the faculty in late 2013. She has a broad background in clinical health psychology, with specific expertise leveraging mobile technology for remote oncology patient monitoring as well as delivery and personalization of behavioral interventions. She recently completed a NCI Career Development Award testing a just-in-time sedentary behavior smartwatch intervention before and after cancer surgery and received a NCI R37 MERIT award developing a mobile sensing system for real-time severe symptom detection during chemotherapy.
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