Dr. Amy Kirby is an Environmental Microbiologist in the Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Georgia, a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Buffalo, SUNY, and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from Emory University. At CDC, Dr. Kirby is interested in leveraging environmental microbiology methods to measure pathogens, antibiotic resistance genes, and other health indicators in natural and man-made water systems.
Sharon Terry, Genetic Alliance & Alice Rathjen
New efforts that are currently underway are attempting to leverage waste water surveillance data to monitor status and predict near term direction of pathogen outbreaks via linking it to patient data based on hospital observations. The overall goal is to identify potential pathogens, the related infection status in the population, and to possibly even predict resurgence of a previously identified pathogen via comparison of sequencing data from hundreds of patients to pathogen detection in a broad sampling of waste water across a given area. This panel which includes public health officers, epidemiologists, and research scientists will focus their debate of this timely subject on what promise and predictive value this approach may hold.