Healthcare and Biomedical Science

Shedding light on the causal pathways of disease, developing effective prevention and treatment programs, and protecting the nation’s safety and security are the central goals of Gryphon’s work in public health. In addition to research and program evaluation, our subject matter experts provide training and program development on health and disease control practices.

INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Gryphon recognizes that accurate surveillance and rapid response capabilities are essential to combat emerging diseases and the threat of intentional release of infectious agents. Through assessing risk, modeling the spread of infectious disease, and assessing the effectiveness of countermeasures, we help policymakers develop effective prevention, preparedness, and response strategies for countering biological threats.

01

Managing the Risk of Retaining Polioviruses for Research

Gryphon collaborated on the development of a risk management tool to be used at facilities proposing to retain polioviruses after their eradication from natural transmission. To develop requirements, we engaged with stakeholders through webinars, teleconferences, interviews, and in-person visits. We reviewed final requirements with CDC and other stakeholders during in-person meetings.
02

Improving the Prediction of Vector-Borne Diseases

As a first step toward improving the prediction of emergence and reemergence of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika in South and Central America, Gryphon assessed the public health infrastructure in the region. We inventoried the status of surveillance and vector control systems, identified existing data sets, and characterized the state of science for disease symptomology and epidemiology.
03

Quantifying the Risk of Disease Spread to the U.S. from Outbreaks Abroad

To inform decision-making about outbreak preparedness and response activities, ,Gryphon developed a tool for assessing the risk of disease spread to the U.S. from outbreaks identified abroad. Based on the location and characteristics of an outbreak and the causative agent, the tool generates a risk profile, an overall risk score, and a confidence score rating the quality of data supporting the risk assessment.

NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASE

Gryphon is experienced in analyzing the complexity of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which typically present a long natural history, prolonged course of treatment, and multiple causes. We investigate their etiology and examine access, costs, and outcomes of health care services. For NCDs caused by lifestyle factors, our interests include health promotion and communications programs.

04

Studying the Use of Disease Modifying Therapies for Multiple Sclerosis

For a pharmaceutical company, we are designing and conducting a CATI (computer-assisted telephone interviewing) survey of 1770 individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), 1250 of whom have participated in the Sonja Slifka Longitudinal Multiple Sclerosis Study for several years and 500 of whom were recently diagnosed and recruited from the website of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We will merge the new data with the existing database and conduct analyses to answer questions about the use of disease modifying therapies.
05

Managing a Publication-based Surveillance Project for Tobacco Advertising

For the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Gryphon managed a publication-based surveillance project to assist FDA in monitoring the nature and extent of tobacco advertising communications. We used the MediaRadar database, brand websites, and social media and consumer programs of manufacturers and retailers to identify relevant communications promoting tobacco. The resulting database was designed to interface smoothly with an existing FDA surveillance system.
06

Examining the Use and Cost of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Strategies

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatment services, such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, are practices typically used as a complement or substitute for conventional medical care. These strategies have been adopted by patients to manage many diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). Gryphon is analyzing the extent of use and cost of CAM by individuals with MS to understand patient experiences and make recommendations for improving access to beneficial services.

ONE HEALTH

Irrefutable links between the health of humans, animals, and the environment have prompted Gryphon to join calls for a multi-sectoral, inter-disciplinary approach to the prevention and control of zoonotic disease and other health challenges at the human-animal-environment interface. We are a leader in applying this collaborative ‘One Health’ approach in our infectious disease studies and training exercises.

07

Strengthening One Health Research Translation Networks

Gryphon developed innovative training materials and implemented workshops in Egypt and Indonesia on applying research to enhance in-country capabilities for preventing and controlling zoonotic disease threats. Our materials fused concepts–research translation and One Health–that are rarely addressed together. By engaging a multi-sectoral group of in-country stakeholders from the research, public health, and veterinary sectors, the workshop promoted the building of capabilities in research translation and the strengthening of One Health networks to enhance country preparedness for zoonotic disease threats.
08

Studying the Role of Agricultural Animals in Zoonotic Disease Spread

More than 60% of all emerging infectious disease events are characterized as zoonoses. Commercial agricultural animals can transmit a range of diseases to humans, posing risks to people with occupational exposure to animals and to consumers through the consumption of contaminated meat. To study the role of agricultural animals in presenting zoonotic disease threats to humans, Gryphon created a commercial animal population database and investigated the relationship between the density of animal populations and human disease incidence.
09

Improving the Diagnosis of Tick-Borne Diseases

Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) including Lyme disease pose a major public health burden in the U.S. and globally, but diagnosing TBDs is challenging because of their non-specific clinical presentation. Gryphon developed a differential diagnosis tool that calculates the likelihood of patient infection with specific TBDs given their symptoms, risk factors, and location of suspected tick exposure. The tool, which informs a clinical diagnosis to guide selection of diagnostic testing and treatment, integrates surveillance data from humans and ticks for a more accurate understanding of environmental TBD risks.