Research and Evaluation: Prevent and Control Vector-Borne Diseases
Centers of Excellence
CDC’s Centers of Excellence (COEs), established in 2017, conduct applied research and professional training, expanding nationwide capacity to prevent and respond to emerging vector-borne diseases across the United States.
In July 2022, CDC awarded four universities $40 million over 5 years to serve as COEs: the University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of California-Davis, University of Florida, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. The award included $2 million to each COE the first year and $2 million to each COE the following 4 years.
CDC’s COEs were established in 2017 when five universities were awarded $51.5 million over 5 years: Cornell University*; the University of California, Davis and Riverside; University of Florida; the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston; and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
*This COE’s workplan extended through December 2022
- Conduct research on ways to prevent tick and mosquito bites or suppress populations of regionally important ticks and mosquitoes and their associated human disease pathogens.
- Train a new generation of public health entomologists to serve as experts in vector-borne diseases at state and local levels.
- Strengthen collaboration between the academic community and state, territorial, and local public health organizations, vector management programs, and other potential partners to develop, evaluate, and implement strategies that suppress ticks and mosquitoes and the pathogens they spread.
- Trained more than 5,300 vector control professionals and students through over 80 training opportunities.
- Developed undergraduate and graduate degree programs or certificates in public health entomology at five universities.
- Spearheaded the creation of regional vector surveillance systems for centralized data tracking.
- Evaluated effectiveness of innovative mosquito and tick control methods.
- Provided resources and technical assistance to local organizations.
Regional Training and Evaluation Centers
CDC’s Regional Training and Evaluation Centers (TECs), established in 2023, expand our nation’s capacity to advance vector-borne disease prevention and control priorities through training, evaluation, and partnerships. In 2023, CDC awarded $7.14 million for the first year of a 5-year program to Cornell University; Pennsylvania State University; Colorado State University; City of New Orleans Termite and Rodent Control Board; and the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust. Two additional awardees—the American Mosquito Control Association and University of Florida—will support specific evaluation projects.
- Increase training opportunities for students and professionals on vector-borne disease prevention and control.
- Evaluate the impact and effectiveness (non-research) of existing or commercially available vector-borne disease prevention and control tools, technologies, and programs.
- Build partnerships among institutions and organizations in the vector-borne disease community.
Since 2017, CDC has invested in innovative research projects through Broad Agency Announcements (a funding mechanism) to identify and implement new ways to comprehensively respond to vector-borne diseases. Data from these projects help CDC better protect people by, for example, identifying places these diseases spread, improving outbreak response, and strengthening control practices.
In 2023, CDC awarded more than $7 million to eight institutions. Research topics in 2023 and previous years include:
- Identifying and assessing effective communication methods for mosquito-borne disease prevention
- Assessing enhanced diagnostic procedures
- Evaluating affordable, acceptable tick bite prevention and tick control strategies on high-use public lands in Lyme disease endemic areas
- Strengthening Lyme disease surveillance and research
- Improving dengue clinical management through medical education
- Addressing critical gaps in controlling Aedes aegypti mosquitoes within households and communities using outdoor residual insecticide application