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November 28, 2006

Cummings Receives Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award

Derek Cummings, PhD, MHSDerek Cummings, PhD, MHS, a visiting assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Biostatistics, has received a Career Award at the Scientific Interface (CASI) from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. The award provides $500,000 over five years to support advanced postdoctoral training and the first years of a faculty appointment.

Cummings’ research focuses on dengue, a mosquito-borne virus that causes 50-100 million infections each year. Cummings will continue to investigate the role that several types of immune responses against dengue play in determining the transmission dynamics of dengue at a population scale. His work will compare the dynamics predicted by computational models of the transmission of dengue to patterns of dengue incidence observed over multiple years in Thailand. The goal of the project is to allow public health practitioners to plan control strategies more effectively.

During the postdoctoral phase of the award, Cummings will be mentored by Scott Zeger, PhD, professor and chair of the Bloomberg School’s Department of Biostatistics. Cummings completed his doctoral work in the Whiting School of Engineering’s Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering and was advised by International Health adjunct professor Donald Burke, MD, and engineering professor J. Hugh Ellis, PhD.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund developed CASI to encourage research at the interface between the physical sciences and the biological sciences. Career Awards grants are intended to foster the early career development of researchers with backgrounds in the physical/computational sciences whose work addresses biological questions and who are dedicated to pursuing a career in academic research. Candidates are expected to draw from their training in a scientific field other than biology to propose innovative approaches to answer important questions in the biological sciences.

Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Kenna Lowe or Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.