Scoglio awarded USDA grant to develop tool to estimate insect pathogen risk

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Caterina Scoglio, professor in the Mike Wiegers Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Kansas State University, has received a U.S. Department of Agriculture — Research Education and Economics grant to develop a computer tool used to estimate the risk for arthropod-transmitted pathogens.

Scoglio, who holds the Paslay professorship in electrical and computer engineering and is a Steve Hsu Keystone research scholar, will lead the more than $275,000 four-year project, conducting research on “Predicting Insect Contact and Transmission Using Historical Epidemiological Data.”

Researchers will collect data, develop algorithms and design a computer tool that provides predictive models that estimate arthropod-borne pathogen transmission risk in locations using environmental and dynamic real-time data, all with the goal of optimizing resources.

“Estimating pathogen transmission risk will reduce waste of limited shelf-life products and the movement of resources between locations,” Scoglio said. “Planners will use this tool to evaluate mosquito-borne virus risk of a geographic location at specific times or durations of time. Users can also monitor conditions at specific locations to decide when and which products to reorder.”

The platform will classify landscapes into three levels of transmission current risk — high, medium and low — and will feature a forecasting tool.

This project is closely related to major research goals in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering for the areas of infectious diseases and health.


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