UAlbany School of Public Health Receives $3M from CDC to Aid Federal, State and Local Health Agencies

An exterior view of the Health Sciences campus, with the marble "Health Sciences Campus" sign in the foreground and the Cancer Research Center in the background.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 14, 2021) – The School of Public Health (SPH) received nearly $3 million in supplemental funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to scale up its mathematical modeling work.

The Coalition for Applied Modeling and Prevention (CAMP), which has been based at SPH since 2019, develops epidemiological and economic models to predict the answers to important public health questions in the areas of HIV, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosios and adolescent health.

CAMP was established in 2014 at Emory University and moved to UAlbany in 2019, with the awarding of a nearly $1 million per year grant from CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention Epidemiologic and Economic Modeling Agreement (NEEMA). CDC has now awarded SPH an additional $2.9 million to fund the center through 2024. The new funds enable the University to continue serving as the central hub for a national collaboration between CDC and other universities, including Emory University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Washington, Georgia State University, Oregon Health & Science University and the University of California at San Diego.

Together the group will work to aid the CDC and state and local public health organizations in developing, implementing and altering public health initiatives. David Holtgrave, dean at SPH and a co-principal investigator with Erika Martin, associate professor at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, explained that research on how a new program or policy’s implementation will affect disease transmission often requires model-based analytical approaches. The CDC, state and local health departments, and other public health organizations can use predictions from the models to influence how they develop, implement and alter public health initiatives on the ground.

“Mathematical and economic modeling can serve to directly inform and improve public health programs and policies,” said Holtgrave. “We are extremely fortunate to collaborate with outstanding researchers and public health practitioners to find ways to use analytic techniques to achieve the optimum impact of HIV, hepatitis, STD and TB efforts. These analysis can be a kind of dashboard to planning new efforts, assessing how well current implementation is going, and suggest mid-course corrections to improve program and policy impact even further.”

Martin adds, “The COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted the critical role of public health. We are excited for this opportunity to expand our team’s capacity to work on projects to help our federal, state, and local partners make evidence-informed decisions, understand the epidemic impact of different interventions, and better target their scarce resources.”

Eli Rosenberg, an associate professor at SPH, led CAMP when it first became based at SPH. In 2021, Rosenberg moved to a primary appointment as the Deputy Director for Science at the New York State Department of Health Office of Public Health, at which point Holtgrave and Martin became PI and Co-PI of CAMP, respectively.