Dr. Gideon Wasserberg

Ecological perspective provides insights for understanding and controlling vector-borne and zoonotic infectious diseases

Gideon Wasserberg

Dr. Gideon Wasserberg
UNC Greensboro

August 31, 2022

Hosted By Dr. Malcolm Schug

The theme of my research program is that the application of an ecological approach is central for the understanding of the processes that underlie the transmission, spread, and emergence of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases. In addition, this perspective is essential for identifying weak links in the transmission chain that could be targeted toward effective types of intervention. In this seminar, I will present work done in my lab during the past 6 years, focusing on: (1) The effect of anthropogenic land use change on disease emergence, with model systems including Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) in the Middle East and La Crosse Encephalitis in western North Carolina; (2) describing, using CL as a study model, how Identifying weak links in the transmission cycle can lead to novel, efficient, and “green” intervention strategies; (3) describing my current research about the spread of Lyme disease from Virginia to North Carolina; and (4) provide updates about my new research on chiggers as potential vectors of Rickettsial bacteria.