World’s Top Epidemiologists Visit Their Colleagues at Texas A&M
May 06, 2011
Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Renata
Ivanek-Miojevic, is hosting a seminar series for the college. The
seminars involve world renowned epidemiologists visiting their
fellow epi colleagues in College Station, TX. Thus far for the
spring 2011 semester, the series has hosted Dr. Olaf Berke, Dr.
Yrjö Gröhn, and Dr. Pauline van den Driessche.
Dr. Olaf Berke, associate professor of Statistical Epidemiology
at the University of Guelph in Canada,visited the Collegefrom
February 28, 2011 through March 4, 2011. Berke is known for the
development and application of spatial statistical methods in
epidemiology and veterinary public health; which also includes risk
mapping, spatial surveillance, and spatial analyses.
Berke's principal interest involves the study of zoonoses and
emerging infectious diseases. During his visit he gave an excellent
research seminar to the college-wide community entitled,
"Diagnostic Misclassification Bias in Geographic Epidemiology of
West Nile Virus in Ontario, 2005." Berke also lectured to members
of Ivanek-Miojevic's laboratory on matters relating to spatial
"We immensely enjoyed his presenting and teaching style", said
The second speaker for the series was Dr. Yrjö Gröhn, professor
of Epidemiology and chair of the Population Medicine and Diagnostic
Sciences Department at Cornell University. Gröhn visited the
College for the period of March 22, 2011 through March 24,
Gröhn is known for his work in various topics including:
mathematical modeling of zoonotic infectious diseases, optimizing
dairy herd health, management decisions and research on
salmonellosis, Johne's disease, and mastitis in cattle.
During his visit, Gröhn gave an inspiring college-wide talk
entitled, "Food Supply and Veterinary Medicine: Modeling of
Production, Health, and Food Safety".
Gröhn also shared his thoughts on issues involving how to
survive and prosper in academia.
"His thoughts on how to prosper in academia are still being
repeated among various circles within the college, particularly
among the graduate students here," said Ivanek-Miojevic.
The last speaker for the epidemiology seminar series this spring
was Dr. Pauline van den Driessche, professor emeritus at the
University of Victoria in Canada. Van den Driessche visited the
College for the period of April 11, 2011 through April 14,
Van den Driessche is known for her contributions in research
with mathematical biology, focusing especially on models in
epidemiology and ecology, as well as estimation of R0 (the average
number of individuals an already infected individual will infect).
More recently, van den Driessche has been working on the large
MITACS collaborative project, "Transmission Dynamics and Spatial
Spread of Infectious Diseases: Modeling, Prediction, and
During her visit, van den Driessche gave an excellent talk
entitled, "Contributions of Mathematical Modeling to Controlling
Infectious Diseases". She emphasized the "professional language
barrier" encountered by teams that include professionals ranging
from various disciplines such as sociologists, economists,
geographers, mathematicians, veterinarians, and epidemiologists, to
name a few. In order to better understand and predict disease
transmission, many of them will make the effort to familiarize
themselves with the professional jargon and frequently used by
others in disciplines dissimilar to their own, before moving
forward with any of their current research.
Currently, Ivanek-Miojevic anticipates the arrival of two more
speakers scheduled for the fall 2011 semester as a part of the
continuation of the epidemiology seminar series.
Angela G. Clendenin
Director, Communications & Public Relations
Ofc - (979) 862-2675
Cell - (979) 739-5718
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