Read about Stephen Eubank, Ph.D., in the September 2007 issue.
Virginia Tech University
What’s a major factor in determining how infectious diseases like the flu spread? The same intricate social networks that guide your daily interactions.
Stephen Eubank uses publicly available data to map how people move around and interact in their communities. With this, he can simulate probable outcomes—morning gridlock at a downtown intersection, for example—over a period of days, weeks or months. He’s done this with smallpox, malaria and pandemic flu, and the results have aided disease prevention efforts.