Despite dramatic reductions in infectious disease burden over the past century, morbidity and mortality remain strikingly high. For example, there are over 4 billion cases of gastrointestinal illness and 14 billion cases of respiratory illness worldwide every year. Combined, gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases are responsible for over 3 million deaths of children under five annually. These diseases, and other environmentally-mediated diseases like hepatitis, helminth infections, and tropical-cluster diseases rely on a variety of environmental reservoirs during transmission from infected to susceptible individuals.
Our research agenda is to reduce global infectious disease burden through the study of pathogen transmission at the boundary between humans and the environment.
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