Sean Diehl, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, and Sam Scarpino, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics and statistics at UVM. (Photo: LCOM Creative Services)
Researchers Sean Diehl, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and a Vaccine Testing Center immunologist, and Sam Scarpino, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, have been awarded the inaugural University of Vermont Biomedical Engineering Program Pilot Research Program grant for their project, “Integrating omics and clinical data to study dengue infection.” The award is co-funded by the Larner College of Medicine and the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences.
The team’s project focuses on the development of a web-based predictive modeling approach that uses genome wide transcriptome data to produce a predictive model of a person’s clinical response to dengue virus infection. Dengue is an urgent global threat across 40 percent of the world’s population with 390 million annual infections and billions of dollars in annual losses that puts an enormous strain on the medical systems of affected nations. The goal of this joint research is to develop a meaningful model by which new biomarkers can be used to ascertain clinical responses to dengue infections, which will help gauge the effectiveness of dengue vaccines.
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