A Message from the Director

Throughout the last year, we have all been continually challenged to overcome obstacles. From mask ordinances to the first COVID-19 vaccines, the pandemic has shown us the personal, social, and economic impacts that an infectious disease can have on a global scale. Although the world has risen to the occasion to control COVID-19, this is not the first time that humanity has faced a modern pandemic, and it won’t be the last. For this reason, the Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (CEID) has continuously worked to develop a community of dedicated faculty, staff, and students who want to understand the core ecological and evolutionary principles that underlie infectious diseases and rise to the challenges in
animals, plants, and people.

We spent the last year mapping, forecasting, and analyzing infectious diseases to develop an ever-growing capacity to deal with outbreaks head on. Our collaborative efforts havemade CEID an international leader in COVID-19 modeling and pushed our members to engage in globally focused infectious disease research. With projects such as the CDC’s annual Flu forecasting challenge and the Department of Defense’s Flu and COVID-19 forecasting challenge, we continue to expand our research capabilities. 

But we are also looking toward the future. This year, in an effort to better anticipate and prepare for the next pandemic, CEID launched its first private-public partnership, the Global Infectious Disease Intelligence Consortium (GIDC). GIDIC engages leaders in industry, government, NGOs, and academia who need to be aware of an emerging infectious disease outbreak before social and economic conditions become unmanageable. This collaborative design encourages the open discussion of ideas, welcomes member-specific projects, and exposes our students to the challenges that companies and other organizations face. GIDIC members include Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and the Swine Health Information Center, and we continue to have conversations with other organizations throughout the country.  

CEID will continue to engage in robust infectious disease research and modeling. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that the global challenges associated with the spilloevr of novel infectious diseases affect the entirety of our modern society. For this reason, our research at CEID is driven by today’s challenges to better address the needs of tomorrow.


– John M. Drake, Director