Research Proposal: “[Creation of a] Southeastern Mountains-to-Ocean Vector-borne Disease Regional Center of Excellence at the University of Georgia.”

A five-year, $9,987,040 proposal submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). PI: Michael Yabsley, Professor, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, UGA. Co-PIs include Travis Glenn (UGA Public Health), James Beasley (Warnell), Elizabeth Pienaar (Warnell), Christopher Cleveland (Veterinary Medicine), Glen Nowak (Grady College), and Nancy Hinkle (Agriculture & Environmental Science). 

Proposal: This application proposes a Vector-Borne Disease Regional Center of Excellence (COE) at UGA. Tick-borne diseases (TBD) are a major public health risk, impacting hundreds of thousands of Americans per year. Despite major efforts to increase surveillance for ticks and their pathogens, there is an urgent need to investigate approaches to prevent tick bites or suppress ticks in the environment, provide educational opportunities to increase the public health workforce’s medical entomology knowledge, generate culturally and linguistically appropriate education and communication materials that increase TBD prevention behaviors in underserved communities, and facilitate collaborations between various stakeholders with TBD interests. The mission of this proposed COE is to play a part in filling these needs.

Glen Nowak