Welcome to C.A.T.C.H. (Characterizing And Tracking College Health) the Virus Study! Our goal is to figure out what makes people contagious so we can prevent the spread of disease - particularly in residence halls. You have the unique opportunity to participate in this study and help us to make our communities healther.
You don't need to be sick to participate, and if you sign up you could win prizes up to $500!
The study will last through the Spring Semester 2018. If you're at least 18 years old and a resident of the Cambridge Community (yes, all 1500 of you) then you will be eligible to be a part of our study. And if you're a first-year student in the Global Public Health (GPH), Life Sciences (LS), or Science, Technology, and Society (STS) College Park Scholars Living Learning Communities -or a roommate of one -then we will need you in a huge way!
If you're a first-year GPH, LS, or STS student living in the Cambridge Community (or a roommate), you will be able to fill out a survey and give us snot and other samples, identify contacts like roommates or anyone in the Cambridge Community you might infect.
If you are a contact of someone with colds or flu who filled out a survey and gave samples, and you live in one of the Cambridge residence halls, you may be able to enroll in follow-up to see if you catch the virus.
Maybe the best part is we'll pay you every time you come in to see us -whether you've caught something, or if someone names you as a close contact.
Also, we have a special type of location tracking app for your smartphone (hyper-accurate for locations served by campus wifi), which will help us trace disease transmission in a community network. If you're eligible (over 18 years old and living in the Cambridge Community) we'll pay you to download and install and run it, and if you keep it on you'll be eligible for prize drawings (including a grand prize of a $500 debit card). Go to https://catch.umd.edu/app in order to participate.
If you are interested, you can join the research team later this year and learn about how we do this research.
We really need your help to make this work! By participating, you're helping to make great scientific advances that could help create healthier dorms and buildings for everyone.
Don Milton, MD, DrPH Professor, School of Public Health and
the C.A.T.C.H. the Virus Study research team
Learn about what we did last year: The Summary of GotFlu
In addition to the number of ways you can help out the CATCH the Virus Study as a study participant, we also need students to serve as clinical or laboratory Research Assistants (RAs)!
College Park Scholars interested in working with the study can enroll in a specific course to receive credits for their CPS practicum. Those not in the College Park Scholars program who are interested in working with the study as an RA can also participate by enrolling for independent research credit through the Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health.
Students interested in becoming an RA should contact Jennifer German (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and for instructions about how to register for the appropriate course...
CATCH (Characterizing and Tracking College Health) is a multi-year study of infectious respiratory disease, and its primary study cohort is drawn from first-year Scholars in the Cambridge Community. It is funded by DARPA and the principal investigator, Dr. Don Milton, is a faculty member in the School of Public Health. The primary objectives of the study are to investigate the “contagious phenotype,” or what makes an infected individual contagious. We believe that a complex interplay between the infectious agent, the person infected, the contact the infected person has had with others, and the environment are at play. To study how these elements are interacting, study participants will have biological samples taken (which will be analyzed and the pathogens identified), various indicators of air quality (including CO2, temperature, and relative humidity) will be monitored in the dorms where participants reside, and contacts of participants will be monitored and tracked.
Students working as research and clinical assistants will participate at all stages of data collection. After several weeks of training in human subject research, lab safety, and study protocols, students will take on an active role in whichever research setting they have chosen. Clinical assistants will engage in the operations of the clinic, interacting with study participants, and collecting samples. Lab assistants will be responsible for processing and cataloging samples, and will assist in data analysis. Students will also enrich the conceptual and theoretical context of their work via discussion and critical analysis of relevant literature, and by periodic review of the study’s progress.
Dr. Milton earned a BS in Chemistry from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (Cum Laude), an MD from Johns Hopkins University and a DrPH (Environmental Health) from Harvard University. He is currently Professor, Maryland Institute for Applied... Learn More
M.D., M.S, Barbara Albert received her medical degree from Pennsylvania State University and completed residency training and a Master's Degree (MPH equivalent) in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine... Learn More
Rhonda's career in healthcare started over 20yrs ago with the Department of Defense working at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) department as a Medical Technician. She assisted in research being conducted with soldiers who... Learn More
Dr. Oluwasanmi Adenaiye earned his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MD Equiv.) from the College of Medicine, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. As a clinical research assistant in the department of Chemical Pathology of University College... Learn More
Dr. Somayeh Youssefi earned her BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tehran, Iran, and earned her PhD in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at School of Public Health in... Learn More
Dr. Sheldon Tai is a postdoctoral associate at University of Maryland's School of Public Health. He completed formal veterinary training at National Taiwan University, and earned his PhD in comparative medicine and integrative biology at Michigan State... Learn More
Hailing from Kingston, RI, Jacob completed his undergraduate degree in Human Science with a Certificate in Global Health at Georgetown University. Upon graduating he joined CDC as a Public Health Associate, fulfilling a two-year field... Learn More
Dr. Jennifer German earned her BS in Genetic Engineering from Cedar Crest College, and earned her PhD in Biology from University of Maryland, College Park. Her graduate work focused on the innate immune response to... Learn More
Dr. Jelena Srebric is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Cluster for SustainabilITY in the Built Environment at the University of Maryland (CITY@UMD). For the C.A.T.C.H. study she and her team will be... Learn More
Dr. Ashok Agrawala is Professor in the University of Maryland Department of Computer Science at College Park and Director of the Maryland Information and Network Dynamics (MIND) Lab. For C.A.T.C.H., he and... Learn More
Dr. Matthew Frieman is an Associate Professor in The Department of Microbiology and Immunology at The University of Maryland School of Medicine. He earned a BA in Biology from Washington University... Learn More
Dr. Todd Treangen is a Research Scientist in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) and faculty member in the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (CBCB)... Learn More
Dr. Emmanuel Mongodin is Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (SOM) and the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS)... Learn More
Dr. Shuo Chen is Associate Professor of Biostatics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at the Harbin Institue of Technology (China), his M.S. in Mathematics and... Learn More
Filbert had left the world of scientific research but has since come back. For more than ten years he was Director of Artistic Operations for the National Philharmonic (based at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD)... Learn More
Dr. Amelia M. Arria, Ph.D. is currently the Director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development and the Office of Planning and Evaluation at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, and an Associate Professor... Learn More
Dr. Adam Porter is Professor at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, and Executive Director of the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering. His research has focused... Learn More
Dr. Sandro Fouche is Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Towson University, and a Systems Architect with the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering.... Learn More
Dr. Chengsheng Jiang is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. He has experience in GIS, spatial statistics, spatial sampling design, data analysis, data mining... Learn More
In addition to the number of ways you can help out the CATCH the Virus Study as a study participant, we also need students to serve as clinical or laboratory Research Assistants (RAs)...
University of Maryland scientists are conducting a study to identify what makes people contagious and how to stop the spread of disease on the campus. The study will focus on students living in university dorms...
It’s almost 70 degrees on a pleasant spring day, but in a lab at the School of Public Health, Maria Pozo ’19 huddles in a sweater and puffy vest and hacks out a percussive series of coughs...
A preprint now available describes results from a study of 142 people from the UMD College Park campus community who were diagnosed with influenza in 2012-13. The average case shed about 38,000 viruses...
We had a great turn out to learn about the CATCH – the virus study last week at the Cambridge Community Block Party! Jake, Barbara, Rhonda, and Jennifer were on hand to answer questions and provide general information about...
CATCH will be participating in the kick-off event of the UMD College Park Scholars 2017-2018 theme, “Going Viral” on Wednesday, September 27. Dr. Don Milton, leader of the C.A.T.C.H. the Virus Study research team...
Members of the Index Cohort (first-year GPH, STS and LS Scholars living in the Cambridge Community) can participate immediately in the baseline questionnaire and sample collection as self-reported cases.Download PDF
Members of the Main Cohort (any Cambridge Community resident, or first-year GPH, STS, LS Scholar) can participate in the study if they are named as a contact of a self-reported case.Download PDF
Index Cohort members who come to the clinic as self-reported cases and Contacts who become infected with one of our target viruses can be selected to do the In-Depth Case portion of the study.Download PDF
Members of the Main Cohort (any Cambridge Community resident, or first-year GPH, STS, LS Scholar) can participate in the smartphone tracking app portion of the study.Download PDF