How can evolutionary biology help prevent the spread of diseases such as Zika and dengue?
This special evening event is part of a series that brings health professionals and biologists together to discuss ways that evolutionary biology can improve health. A buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. will offer a chance to meet people, and brief talks beginning at 7 will introduce a lively discussion until 8:30. The event will be at the ASU Center for Evolution and Medicine on the Tempe campus.
Silvie, Huijben, PhD — Evolutionary biologist and assistant professor for School of Life Sciences and the Center for Evolution and Medicine at ASU
Kirk Smith, PhD — Entomologist in the Vector Control Division of the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department
Irene Ruberto, MPH, PhD — Vector-borne and zoonotic disease epidemiologist at Arizona Department of Health Services' Office of Infectious Disease Services
Crystal Hepp, PhD — Evolutionary biologist and assistant professor in the School of Informatics, Computing and Cyber Systems at Northern Arizona University
Health dangers from mosquito-borne diseases in the Valley pose an urgent problem. West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis infect several Arizonans every year. Dengue, chikungunya and Zika are imported from elsewhere, and mosquitoes capable of transmitting these arboviral diseases are abundant throughout the Valley. Dengue virus circulates just across the border with Mexico, so it may only be a matter of time before it becomes established in the Valley. Vector control using chemicals that kill larva or adult mosquitoes is already underway, but only a few insecticides are available and resistance is increasing rapidly. The experts on our panel will discuss how applying the principles of evolutionary biology can help prevent insecticide-resistance locally as well as globally, thus helping prevent transmission of dire diseases that could decimate the Valley’s economy as well as the health of its citizens.
The event is free, but pre-registration is required, as only 40 seats are available.