Epidemiology: Forging the Future: The Disease Detectives

They are the masters of shoe-leather research. When disease strikes, they figure out whodunit


Sandro Galea is not your typical epidemiologist. Instead of studying microbes, he studies minds--human minds and how they might respond to an outbreak of SARS or Ebola or avian flu. "Once a virus hits the ground, there isn't time to contemplate how the public might react," says Galea. "We need to better understand why people react the way they do and how we can positively influence their behavior." The public psychology of emerging diseases is a new field of research, and Galea, 34, is one of its pioneers. A professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan's...

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