University of Illinois




Dr. Marilyn O'Hara Ruiz

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine

Department of Pathobiology

Marilyn O’Hara Ruiz seeks to understand the causes of differences in health and well-being across time and at different places. Marilyn is leading MCE-VBD’s efforts to connect sources of information about mosquito and tick abundance from across the upper Midwest. Right now, multiple agencies keep their own records in their own way, and it’s hard for anyone to get a complete picture across the region of which vectors occur where. Having a comprehensive, dynamic picture of this will be particularly important as climate change causes problem species of pests to expand their range. Marilyn and her group use maps, trapping of pests, weather information, information about human land use, and many other kinds of data to identify, explain, and predict patterns in the occurrence of ticks and mosquitoes, the pathogens they carry, and the human diseases those pathogens cause. As her models get refined, she hopes they will allow public health officials across the Midwest to focus both outreach to the public and control measures like pesticide spraying in ways that could prevent disease.

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Dr. Rebecca Lee Smith

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine

Department of Pathobiology

Rebecca Smith is an infectious disease epidemiologist with a focus on modeling to predict control program efficacy. She is particularly interested in the potential interactions between multiple diseases in the same population, a problem that is highly applicable to tick-borne diseases. Her role in the center is to translate the prediction models for vector-borne diseases into recommendations for optimal control of both vectors and diseases.

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Dr. Nohra Mateus-Pinilla

Illinois Natural History Survey

Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory

Dr. Mateus has served as the Director of the Wildlife Veterinary Epidemiology Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Illinois Natural History Survey for more than 14 years. Regular efforts include evaluating environmental and epidemiological variables that could mitigate disease occurrence at the interface of wildlife, human and livestock health.

More bio coming soon!

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