CDC awards $3.7 million in Biosense grants

Published 11 January 2007

Researchers at New York City’s Department of Health and Hygiene, the University of Utah, and Johns Hopkins University to investigate improved ways of sharing critical health surveillance data

Tis this season to issue grants, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not want to be known as a scrooge. Following on recent announcements by DHS regarding its own billions of dollars in infrastructure protection awards, the CDC has announced a more modest — but just as important — outlay: $3.7 million in grants designed to improve the detection and response to emerging public health threats. “The goal of this funding will be identifying new tools and methods to enhance health information sharing and ultimately lead to the adoption of a nationwide, technology-based, integrated healthcare surveillance system,” said CDC’s Dr. Steve Solomon.

The new grants, part of the CDC’s Health Protection Research Initiative, will fund studies at three new Centers of Excellence in Public Health Informatics to design new tools and methods to assist and enhance CDC’s BioSense program. BioSense, as our readers hopefully already know, provides real-time biosurveillance through immediate access to data from hospitals and healthcare systems in major metropolitan cities across the nation. The new Centers for Excellence are located at New York City’s Department of Health and Hygiene; the University of Utah; and Johns Hopkins University. The awards were given to:


1. Joseph Lombardo, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, to investigate new technologies which will improve the timeliness and accuracy of electronic disease surveillance systems and enhance the development of a national disease surveillance network

2. Farzad Mostashari, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to implement and evaluate a model Electronic Health Record (EHR) system that incorporates public health priorities and epidemiological data

3. Matthew Samore, University of Utah, to enhance the use of electronic medical surveillance in detecting and investigating public health threats.

-read more in this CDC news release