New Research Addresses Complexity of Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Control

Author: Sarah Craig

Eck Institute for Global Health

The University of Notre Dame’s Edwin Michael, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and member of the Eck Institute for Global Health, is on the cutting edge of an initiative to address the sociology of disease transmission and control, by factoring in the impacts that complex transmission dynamics and social determinants play in the effective management of infectious diseases. His research was recently published in Infectious Disease of Poverty, an open access, peer-reviewed journal publishing topic areas and methods that address essential public health questions relating to infectious diseases of poverty.

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“This is an important paper, as it challenges current NTD control practice and addresses why a new complexity-based governance model will be required for controlling these socio-ecologically complex diseases,” states Michael, lead author on the study. “This is the first time complexity science and socio-ecological principles have been brought to bear on deriving appropriately designed governance structures for parasite control.”

The implications of this research will change the way the global leaders from such institutions as the World Health Organization and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation develop pluralistic governance structures, including involving the community directly, for the control of a growing list of diseases. These frameworks will impact basic and applied research for tackling diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and now NTDs. 

Michael is an epidemiologist who specializes in the spread and control of infectious and neglected tropical diseases including the vector-borne diseases of malaria, dengue and lymphatic filariasis. His research focus is the development and implementation of novel analytic approaches for providing a deeper understanding of the determinants, pathways and dynamics of disease transmission to control diseases. More information about his research and his laboratory activity can be found here:

The Eck Institute for Global Health recgnizes health as a fundamental human right and endeavours to promote research, training, and service to advance health standards for all people, especially people in low-and middle-income countries, who are disproportionately impacted by preventable diseases. 

Contact: Edwin Michael 574-631-2234 or

Originally published by Sarah Craig at on February 15, 2017.