Penn State scientists to discuss research in humanitarian crises

Yasina Somani
November 02, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The spread and persistence of infectious disease can involve a plethora of factors. Understanding the underlying causes of it requires drawing information from fields such as anthropology, biology and geography to develop effective interventions to reduce and prevent disease outbreak, according to Penn State scientists Matthew Ferrari, Nita Bharti and Alexandre Blake, who will discuss vaccines, public health and Doctors Without Borders at this month’s Science on Tap event.

The Science on Tap event will take place on Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at Federal Tap House in downtown State College.

Ferrari, a professor in the department of biology with expertise in vaccine-based interventions, will discuss the need for monitoring and evaluation, even in the midst of a health crisis. 

Ferrari says, “The broader topic that I would love to convey is the need for incorporating scientific thinking into monitoring and evaluation of public health interventions and the inherent challenges of doing so in the context of humanitarian crises, for which the premium is on action rather than evaluation. “

Bharti, who is also a professor in the department of biology, studies the connection between human behavior and health with a focus on movement, access to health care, and the transmission and prevention of infectious diseases.

Blake, a doctoral student working with Bharti, previously worked for Doctors without Borders as an epidemiologist and will join the discussion.

The event is part of the monthly Science on Tap series, which is designed to allow informal discussions between leading Penn State researchers and members of the public. 

The series is presented by the Science Policy Society, a graduate student-run organization that aims to teach researchers about the connection between their research and public policy.

For more information, visit the society’s website at

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 02, 2018