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In this podcast Christopher Barrett, PhD, will provide an introduction to his extensive work in the field of biocomplexity. Barrett is executive director of the Biocomplexity Institute & Initiative at the University of Virginia.

Barrett discusses the ways in which they study massively interacting systems, systems that are built of very large numbers of interacting heterogeneous pieces, and he outlines his theories on the subject while discussing his expectations for the future. Barrett’s Biocomplexity Initiative will be primarily focused on practical applications in the areas of epidemiology, bioinformatics, and public policy. Ultimately, their hope is that this important work will be beneficial to the advancement of science and improvement of human health.

Barrett explains how population factors and various social determinants such as sanitary practices can directly affect the spread of some diseases. And he details how infrastructure and health modeling, as well as economic variables are studied to get an assessment of possible future outcomes.

Their Biocomplexity Initiative will assist with advanced computing capabilities that can give researchers the edge as they study the relationships between human genomics, behavioral aspects, and environmental issues, in regard to how diseases present. By understanding how diseases spread their hope is to find solutions and keep the scientific and medical communities best prepared for combating health issues and more.

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