Yale Receives $1.2 Million Grant to Study Emerging Diseases in New Haven

The Emerging Infections Program (EIP) of the Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) has received a three-year grant for about $1.2 million from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study the causes of acute diarrheal illness among patients receiving primary outpatient care in New Haven.

The specific objectives of the study are to establish surveillance for acute diarrheal illness, collecting epidemiological data on and stool specimens from patients with acute diarrheal illness; perform comprehensive laboratory analysis on all stool samples collected from patients with acute diarrheal illness to identify the cause from among nearly two dozen known bacterial, parasitic and viral agents; and develop a bank of stored specimens for testing for new or emerging enteric pathogens.

These objectives will be met through a collaboration among the Yale EIP, the Department of Laboratory Medicine and the Yale-New Haven Hospital Adult and Pediatric Primary Care Centers (PCCs). Robert Heimer, associate professor of EPH and pharmacology, will serve as principal investigator for the Acute Diarrheal Disease Surveillance Study. Other School of Medicine faculty collaborating with Heimer in this research will be Stephen Edberg, professor of laboratory medicine and internal medicine, Paul McCarthy, M.D., professor of pediatrics, and Patrick O’Connor, M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of the PCCs. The study will be coordinated by Terry Rabatsky-Ehr, a Yale EPH graduate and member of the Yale EIP.

The Yale EIP was established in 1995 and works in concert with the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health and the CDC to conduct population-based epidemiologic research on emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. The program is currently conducting population-based surveillance for food-borne illnesses, tick-borne diseases, chronic liver disease, unexplained death and serious illness, candidemia, neonatal sepsis, viral gastroenteritis and meningococcal disease.

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Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326