Last update: 2/27/06
March 7-8, 2006, Tucson, Arizona
find presentation slides here
find hotel information here
find Attraction information here
Jim Kvach, AFMIC, Department of Defense
Larry Brandt, Digital Government Program, National Science Foundation
Hsinchun Chen, University of Arizona
Mark Thurmond, University California Davis
NSF BioPortal Center, University of Arizona
Information systems play a central role in developing an effective comprehensive approach to prevent, detect, respond to, and manage infectious disease outbreaks of animals and humans. Currently, a large amount of animal and public health infectious disease data is being collected by various laboratories, health care providers, and government agencies at local, state, national, and international levels. Furthermore, many agencies have developed information access, analysis, and reporting systems of varying degrees of sophistication. Researchers from a wide range of backgrounds including but not limited to epidemiology, statistics, applied mathematics, computer science and machine learning/data mining, have also contributed by developing technologies to facilitate real-time data collection and sharing, and algorithms (e.g., those tailored for syndromic surveillance) to analyze collected data. In effect, recent years have witnessed the emergence of infectious disease informatics (IDI), a subfield of biomedical informatics that systematically studies these information management and analysis issues.

The objective of IDI research can be summarized as the development of the science and technologies needed for collecting, sharing, reporting, analyzing, and visualizing infectious disease data and for providing data and decision-making support for infectious disease prevention, detection, and management. Hosted by the NSF BioPortal Center (for infectious disease and bioagent information systems research), this workshop intends to bring together IDI researchers and practitioners to discuss selected IDI topics directly relevant to data sharing and analysis for real-time animal and public health surveillance.

We hope that you will find the workshop an exciting forum for exchanging research ideas and exploring future collaborations. We also hope that you will enjoy the Old Pueblo in Spring and our Southwestern hospitality. Local tours and events will be arranged.


(a) Review and examine various real-time data sharing approaches for animal and public health surveillance from both technological and policy perspectives

(b) Identify key technical challenges facing syndromic surveillance for both animal and human diseases and discuss and compare related systems approaches and algorithms

(c) Provide a forum to bring together IDI researchers and practitioners to identify future research opportunities

The following topics will be addressed in the workshop. (Click on the links to view the presentations)

(a) Local, Regional, and National Data Sharing
(b) Existing IDI data sharing and analysis systems and research prototypes
(c) Animal and public health syndromic surveillance systems and algorithms

Speaker invitations are still under way. Current presenters and topics include

  • Dr. Vicki Chandler, Director, University of Arizona BIO5 Institute, Regents' Professor, Plant Sciences, introduction and welcome
  • Dr. Jim Kvach (AFMIC, DoD), "International Infectious Disease Information Technology:  What’s Needed and What's Possible"
  • Dr. Michael Ascher (LLNL), "Biodefense Knowledge Center (BKC)"
  • Dr. Mark Thurmond (UC-Davis), "Global Toot-and-Mouth Disease Modeling and Surveillance"
  • Dr. Cecil Lynch (UC-Davis), "public health data standards and ontologies"
  • Dr. Hsinchun Chen (U. Arizona), "IDI infrastructure and knowledge management"
  • Dr. Paul Hu (U. Utah), "Evaluations of BioPortal System"
  • Dr. Ken Komatsu (AZDOH), "Biosurveillance in Arizona"
  • Dr. James Kaufman (IBM Almaden Research Center), "Protecting Public Health through advanced SpatioTemporal Epidemiological Modeling"
  • Dr. Chwan-Chuen King (National Taiwan U.), TBA
  • Dr. Colleen Burgess (MathEcology), "Pandemic Influenza Modeling in Structured Populations"
  • Dr. Xiaohui Zhang (Scientific Technologies Corp.), "Development of A Bio-Intelligence System to Over-The-Counter Pharmaceutical Sales Data To Identify Potential Disease Outbreaks"
  • Ms. Eileen Koski (Quest Diagnostics) and Dr. Colin Goodall (AT&T): "National Biosurveillance and Electronic Laboratory Data and Colin Goodall (AT&T): National Biosurveillance and Electronic Laboratory Data"
  • Dan Desmond (SIMI Group): "BioPortal - Two Years Later: The Loomis Project - Regional Response and Preparedness"
  • Mary P. Derby, RN, MS, MPH (U. A.), "Public Health Surveillance of Foodborne Illnesses Using a Novel Dataset"
See the Program Page for Abstracts of each speaker's presentation.  The schedule will also be posted to this page.
The Speaker Biographies page displays the biosketches for Workshop speakers.

The meeting will be held in McClelland Hall, Room 208, on the campus of The University of Arizona in Tucson. Click here to access campus maps.

The conference hotel is the Tucson Marriott University Park, located at 880 East Second Street, Tucson, AZ 85719 -- about a 15-minute walk to McClelland Hall. Call the Marriott directly at 1-520-792-4100 and mention the "Biosurveillance Workshop" to get the discounted conference rate of $149 per night (single occupancy, plus tax). The hotel's website is located at

        - Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center, Department of Defense
        - National Science Foundation
        - Department of Homeland Security
        - Infectious Disease Informatics Working Committee (IDIWC)
        - University of Arizona
        - University of California, Davis

Copyright (C) 2006 Artificial Intelligence Lab, The University of Arizona