In a rare opportunity for scientific connections with Cuba, David Severson lectured this summer at the 12th International Dengue Course at the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute (TPK) in Havana. It was the third time Severson, director of the Eck Institute for Global Health and a professor of Biological Sciences, lectured at the biannual event since he met an organizer at a Biology of Disease Vectors course in Colorado a decade ago.
Topics included vaccine development, molecular biology, insecticide resistance and mosquito control programs. Severson lectured on mosquito biology and genomics, including genetic tools to track mosquito movement. He focused on basic biology to make the information accessible to the audience. Participants include students, representatives from mosquito control programs and officials from ministries of health mostly in Central and South American and Caribbean nations. Cuba is a global leader in dengue control, focused mostly on controlling the disease–carrying mosquitoes. The course included more than 50 lecturers from Cuba, Europe, Singapore, Japan and the United States.