Given increasing world connectivity, the rise of antibiotic resistance, the expected increase in inequalities, and pressures on and from the environment, millions will be pushed toward higher susceptibility to infectious diseases and food shortage.
The mechanistic understanding and fundamentals of pathogen transmission have been historically relegated to a black-box, leading to recurring perceived contradictions, or confusions around preventive measures or policies deployed in time of crisis such as the recent pandemic. Pathogens are transported in and mostly by fluid phases - air, physiological fluids, water, etc. It is also increasingly clear that common fluid and biophysical constraints affect or can even drive a range of disease systems, from human respiratory, to nosocomial, to waterborne or crop diseases. Moreover, fluid physics has historically been absent from the pathogen transmission, microbial or viral-focused research communities; and it has remained historically separate from the fields typically incorporated in infection control and prevention policies, until very recently.
Infectious diseases and their study pose many challenges: from technical challenges in sampling, detection, identification of pathogen properties; the challenges of animal models and field studies and their inherent variability; to the need to translate insights from the lab to technical innovations in infrastructure or policy measures at various scales, for example, to be able minimize lockdowns and global societal impacts during emerging epidemics. These and many more associated challenges require first and foremost to root public health policies, including those pertaining to surveillance, early detection, and prevention, in rigorous interdisciplinary fundamental science dedicated to deciphering the mechanisms underlying contamination and infectious agent adaptation and transmission at various scales and in a range of disease systems and environments. To achieve this goal, traditionally disconnected scientific communities have to cross-pollinate.
This new GRC aims to provide participants a forum to exchange on fundamental and methodological frontier advances in interfacial and complex flows pertaining to health, broadly defined. In addition, we will also engage in state-of-the art discussions on challenges in infectious diseases and contamination, from viroscience, ecology, to microbiology, pertaining to humans, animals, and plants disease systems at various scales.
Themes and Sessions
- Front-line challenges in the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases and contamination
- Large scale flows and modelling contamination indoors: status and challenges
- Mixing and transport across scales: challenges and interplay of theory and data
- Interplay between biology, mechanics, and fluid physics at the source: insights and challenges across fields
- Aerosol measurements in complex environments: from field to fundamental methodology
- Interfacial flows in contamination/decontamination: surface-fluid interaction, fragmentation, droplets and their phase change
- Host physiology and associated biofluids and function
- Spillovers, transmission ecology and animal models
- Frontiers in viroscience and transmission