Michael M. Wagner, MD, PhD
Vice Chairman, Population Informatics
Director, RODS Laboratory
Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Intelligent Systems
Biomedical Informatics Training Program Core Faculty
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Dr. Wagner’s research focuses on real-time methods for detecting and characterizing disease outbreaks, including the development and testing of operational biosurveillance systems. In his role as director of the RODS Laboratory, Dr. Wagner led the development and implementation of two widely used biosurveillance systems: the RODS system and the National Retail Data Monitor (NRDM). Currently, Dr. Wagner is developing a third system called BioEcon. BioEcon is a decision analytic tool for use by analysts working in health departments. BioEcon is a logical extension of Dr. Wagner’s research in biosurveillance. BioEcon addresses the problem of what is the optimal action to take in response to incoming biosurveillance data.
Erik S. Wright, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics
Dr. Wright's research integrates comparative genomics and experimental evolution to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance. Although antibiotics have been used by microorganisms for eons, it remains unclear how these organisms have mitigated the rise of antibiotic resistance in their competitors. Dr. Wright studies the strategies that naturally antibiotic-producing bacteria have evolved to discourage the build-up of resistance, and how some bacteria have adapted to overcome antibiotics while paying a minimal price for resistance. The goal of this research is to develop new strategies for treating pathogens in the clinic, ultimately turning the tide against increasing antibiotic resistance.