Pita Presents W. Africa Virus Epidemiology Project Seminar
Posted: January 19, 2016
Dr. Justin Pita, Associate Professor of UFR Biosciences, Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Côte d'Ivoire, visited Penn State's Dept. of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology (PPEM) January 18-19, 2016. He presented a seminar titled "Food security for Africa through plant disease diagnostic networks and plant pathogen surveillance," which described a new project that he spearheads in West Africa.
West Africa Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) is a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-sponsored project to take proactive measures to prevent disease in root crops in West Africa. Initially, the project focuses on the important staple crop Cassava, with a goal to understand and prevent spread of virus diseases that have heavily impacted parts of East Africa but have not yet been found in West Africa.
Dr. Pita, a former Research Associate at Penn State, also visited friends and colleagues in the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. Penn State will play a role in the WAVE project, contributing expertise in plant virus evolution that can inform patterns of epidemiology and spread.