The Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Ecology Lab (IDEEL) was officially formed in 2015 by a group of principal investigators who shared a vision for improving the health of the world’s poorest populations by improving our understanding of the infectious diseases that impact them most. It is a collaboration between UNC and investigators at Brown University and Imperial College, and co-founded with the support of the late Steven Meshnick, MD, PhD. The idea was to provide a platform for collaborative interdisciplinary research that explores how pathogens interact with human hosts. Investigators come from a wide-breadth of backgrounds including infectious disease physicians, epidemiologists, molecular parasitologists, cell biologists, geneticists and geographers. Current UNC faculty include:
- Dr. Jonathan Juliano, MD, MSPH
- Dr. Jessica Lin, MD
- Dr. Natalie Bowman, MD
- Dr. Jonathan Parr, MD, MPH
- Dr. Ross Boyce, MD
- Dr. Peyton Thompson, MD
- Dr. Michael Emch, PhD
- Dr. Sylvia Becker-Dreps, MD, MPH
The work of this collaborative team primarily focuses on malaria, including studies of cellular biology, genomics, translational and spatial epidemiology. However, the investigators embrace other diseases that affect these populations and have conducted a range of work on other pathogens including Trypanosoma cruzi (the agent of Chagas disease), hepatitis B and C viruses, syphilis, and illnesses transmitted by ticks (e.g. Rickettsia).
The work being done by IDEEL will directly impact the health and well being of millions of individuals around the globe. The advances provided by this research will improve our basic understanding of the pathogens we study. The applied nature of much of our work allows for direct and immediate impact on health policies at all levels.