Spatial Health Research Group
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The Spatial Health Research Group at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is led by Dr. Michael Emch. Research activities focus on exploring spatio-temporal patterns of disease, primarily infectious diseases of the developing world. Disease patterns are studied using a holistic approach by investigating the role of social, natural, and built environments in disease occurrence in different places and populations. Diverse statistical and spatial analytical methods are informed by theory from the fields of medical geography, epidemiology, ecology, and others. These theories and methods are used to examine topics such as how social connectivity contributes to disease incidence, the role of population-environment drivers in viral evolution, and using environmental indicators to predict disease outbreaks.