Researchers in the Clemson University Department of Public Health Sciences have received $17.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to inform and improve outbreak detection and response in South Carolina and beyond.

The Disease Modeling and Analytics to Inform Outbreak Preparedness, Response, Intervention, Mitigation and Elimination in South Carolina (DMA-PRIME) initiative will develop and implement innovative early warning systems to identify and predict the severity of disease outbreaks and allow health care providers to quickly prioritize emergency response efforts.

The initiative, led by Lior Rennert, associate professor and director of the Center for Public Health Modeling and Response, will collaborate with Clemson Rural Health, Prisma Health, the University of South Carolina and the Medical University of South Carolina. Additional partners include the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. 

“The goals of DMA-PRIME are ambitious but feasible as we build upon analytic frameworks and public health partnerships cultivated during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rennert said. 

A key part of this effort is identifying specific areas to focus resources on communities needing additional support during public health emergencies.

Clemson is one of 13 awardees nationwide being funded by the CDC, which aims to establish the first national network for outbreak analytics and disease modeling. Clemson is an “integrator” awardee, allowing researchers to test innovative processes with public health decision-makers who will benefit from new analytical methods or tools. Grantees will work alongside the CDC’s Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics to establish the Outbreak Analytics and Disease Modeling Network. 

“Each of the grantees will help us move the nation forward in our efforts to better prepare and respond to infectious disease outbreaks that threaten our families and our communities,” said Dylan George, director of the Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics.

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