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Reducing the Impact of Infectious Diseases by Supporting Trans-Disciplinary Academic Research

2019 Seed Grant Awardees

Increasing access to cervical cancer prevention through innovative technology in rural Nicaragua: Culturally tailored mHealth approaches to increase impact.

Emma McKim Mitchell, PhD, MSN, RN, Assistant Professor, Co-Director of Global Initiatives, University of Virginia School of Nursing; Rebecca Dillingham, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Global Helath, Harrison Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor of Medicine.

Caused by high risk strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer is almost entirely preventable, yet significant morbidity and mortality persist in LMICs. Based on a long-term collaboration centered on access to care and cultural considerations for women's health on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua, we propose a novel combination of expertise on HPV screening and treatment (Mitchell), and an app/communication intervention (Dillingham) in order to: expand HPV DNA testing as primary screening in a culturally appropriate way to the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua; implement telecolposcopy for women needing follow-up to decrease time to results communication and lost-to-follow-up rates; develop an app/communication intervention to decrease lost-to-follow-up rates and improve patient navigation; and to analyze the National cervical cancer registry in partnership with Movicancer. 


Network-based Mobility Modeling for Complex Humanitarian Emergencies

Bryan Lewis, PhD, MPH Research Associate Professor, Biocomplexity Institute & Initiative, University of Virginia; David Leblang PHD, David Leblang PhD, Ambassador Henry Taylor Professor of Politics, College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Politics and Public Policy, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; Srini Venkatramanan, Research Scientist, NSSAC Division, Biocomplexity Institute & Initiative University of Virginia.

Human mobility drives both spread and impact of infectious diseases, this is especially acute during complex humanitarian emergencies that displace people from their homes. We seek to undertake the development of a novel simulation framework that will bring together both migration attractors as well as repellers while simulating the spread of disease. We propose two case studies that will use this framework to estimate spread of disease across national borders and evaluate potential policy options.