We are broadly interested in understanding and controlling vectorborne diseases. Dr. Levy's methodological interests include developing new Bayesian methods to retrace the history of epidemics, and applying techniques from control theory to optimize interventions against infectious diseases.
Our research team in Peru conducts epidemiological studies on Chagas disease as well as entomological and ecological research on disease vectors and reservoirs. In addition we use quantitative and qualitative methods to try to understand the factors that have led to urbanization of a disease traditionally associated with rural poverty. We work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Peru to improve control of Triatoma infestans the vector of Chagas disease in Arequipa, and to integrate the diagnosis and treatment of individuals infected with Chagas disease into ongoing vector control campaigns.
How can we best control diseases in complex urban environments? How can we do so when the interventions at our disposal are ephemeral and fail to provide lasting protection? We apply mathematical methods to address these questions, both theoretically and in the context of specific problems related to infectious diseases. To date we have focused on improving control of disease vectors through application of insecticide.
Our group is embarking on a new line of research, aimed at improving understanding and identification of insects which can carry diseases, and insects which can cause allergic reactions and asthma. We are developing web-based reporting systems that will allow homeowners to distinguish between potentially dangerous insect species, and harmless species which may share characteristics with harmful bugs. We are developing a pilot website focusing on identification of Chagas disease vectors in Peru as well as in the United States. In collaboration with Dr. Dustin Brisson we are developing a second website focused on identification of ticks.