2018 Annual Meeting


Introduction to Agent-Based Modeling for Infectious Diseases - SESSIONS FULL


ASTMH and the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) are partnering to offer an introductory course on using agent-based models for modeling infectious diseases. Modeling is an essential component for understanding disease dynamics and creating effective control strategies, yet it remains inaccessible to many researchers in public health. IDM is comprised of global health researchers as well as professional software engineers, and has created an agent-based model, our Epidemiological MODeling software (EMOD), that is freely available to the research community. Agent-based models (ABMs) simulate the simultaneous interactions of individual agents to recreate complex phenomena, and are especially useful for modeling transmission dynamics. ASTMH and IDM are offering this workshop on ABMs with the intention of making modeling more accessible to public health researchers, using EMOD as the modeling framework. 

In this workshop, attendees will first get an overview of the fundamentals of disease modeling, and then hands-on modeling experience using EMOD. Participants will have access to IDM’s newly developed web-based graphical tool that was designed to facilitate the learning process for EMOD. Included in the course materials will be example exercises and tutorials that participants can explore using EMOD. By the end of the workshop, participants should have a working understanding of the fundamental concepts of disease modeling, and be familiar with agent-based models, their utility, and their limitations. Additionally, participants will become familiar with IDM’s available software tools and how the tools can be used for their own research projects. Motivated participants will have the opportunity to download and install the EMOD software, run local simulations, and be able to explore open questions and exercises that were proposed in the workshop. 

The target audience for this workshop includes researchers in public health and epidemiology at a professional level (e.g. possessing a PhD, MD, Master’s or related degree) or working towards a professional degree (graduate students are welcome). Prerequisite knowledge includes a basic understanding of compartmental modeling (e.g. SIR models), familiarity with general epidemiology, and an interest in learning how to use ABM’s for public health research.  

Please note: all participants of this session will need a laptop computer with WiFi capabilities. For those interested in installing the EMOD software, they will need administrative rights to the computer. 

Writing Workshop

PLOS Pathogens and PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, along with the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and Vector Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, present a Writing Workshop intended to equip and support early career researchers and researchers from disease endemic regions in understanding the publication process and best practices for manuscript writing. Highlights of the sessions include: framing your research and choosing your journal, mapping out your paper, abstract writing, the mechanics of writing, and research and publication ethics.” For more information, please contact Charlotte Bhaskar at [email protected].” 

Tentative Agenda

Noon - 12:30 pm        Presentation - Introduce the Journals and Contextualize the Presentation
12:30 pm - 1 pm Presentation - Framing your Research and Choosing your Journal
1 pm - 1:15 pm Questions
1:15 pm - 1:45 pm Presentation - Mapping out your Paper (covers abstract writing)
1:45 pm - 2 pm Questions
2 pm - 2:30 pm Abstract Writing Workshop
15 minutes as small groups
15 minutes as full group
2:30 pm - 3 pm Presentation - Mechanics of Writing
3 pm - 3:15 pm Questions
3:15 pm - 3:45 pm Presentation - Research and Publication Ethics
3:45 pm - 4 pm Questions
4 pm - 4:15 pm Conclussions and Wrap-up
4:15 pm - 4:30 pm Final Questions