"Investigation of key biological questions Our research addresses issues of fundamental importance in biology. For instance:
One of the hottest new research centers in the US is the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State. This month's The Scientist contains an article on the new center, highlighting the fact that the center has been particularly successful at attracting new faculty.
"Daniel Falush, an evolutionary geneticist at Oxford University, describes one effect CIDD has had in the United Kingdom: 'There was a great sucking sound because these famous British scientists were disappearing to Penn State.'"
CIDD's mission is to investigate infectious diseases both from theoretical and applied standpoints.
- Many disease agents have a sufficiently short generation time that ecological and evolutionary dynamics operate on similar timescales. Consequently, host-parasite relationships provide a tractable system for investigating key questions in population and evolutionary biology.
- Though their interactions with host immunity are complex, some disease agents have small enough genomes that we can begin to dissect the molecular basis of important large-scale phenomena such as species barriers to transmission and herd immunity.
The photo, courtesy of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, shows HIV daughter viruses being shed from a T-cell.