World-renowned statistical physicist Alessandro Vespignani is the weatherman of network science.

In 2009, the newly appointed Sternberg Distinguished Professor of PhysicsComputer Science and Health Sciences—with appointments in the College of Science, College of Computer and Information Science and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences—developed a computational model that accurately predicted the spread of the H1N1 virus.

Taking a proactive approach to tracking the spread of a biological virus, Vespignani says, could have the power to transform drug deployment. As he puts it, “My dream is to forecast pandemic-spreading like a weather forecaster predicts a hurricane days before it hits. We have to anticipate the spread of a disease so doctors and policymakers can plan how to use their resources in the most intelligent ways.” More