Catching up with Marisa takes us back to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and University of Michigan Grant that resulted in the Wigginton-Eisenberg Laboratory in 2022. The W-E lab 'works to provide wastewater testing data on multiple pathogens across south-east Michigan'. The dashboard they developed currently measures Influenza A; SARS-CoV-2 N1; Norovirus; Rotavirus and RSV and can be explored at the link above. This new dashboard emerged out of the initial University of Michigan Wastewater Dashboard that Dr. Eisenberg and her team developed to track Covid infection via wastewater, early in the pandemic. This transition was covered by Bridge Michigan: Sewer poop: it’s not just for COVID testing anymore.

Marisa and Krista Wigginton both contributed to the publication 'Wastewater-based Disease Surveillance for Public Health Action'

In January of 2024, it was announced that Marisa along with co-director Emily Toth Martin (SPH) were awarded the grant that would provide Michigan $17.5 million to establish the Michigan Public Health Integrated Center for Outbreak Analytics and Modeling, or MICOM. 'U-M receives CDC grant to establish center to help fight disease outbreaks, protect public health'.

From this article: 'The University of Michigan is among 13 institutions that will receive funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be part of a national network of centers focused on predicting and responding to future disease outbreaks...

The 13 institutions, or funded partners of the CDC, will receive a total of $250 million in grants over five years to establish their own centers and work alongside the CDC and state and local health departments.The funding comes from the CDC’s Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, a federal initiative launched in April 2022 to enhance the nation’s ability to respond to public health threats with timely, effective decision-making informed by data, modeling and analytics.'

All of this work has led Professor Eisenberg to be sought out as an expert on wastewater surveillance. First quoted in the New York Times in May of  2023 in 'As Covid Emergency Ends, Surveillance Shifts to the Sewers' and in January of 2024 she was again was quoted by the New York Times in 'We Are in a Big Covid Wave. But Just How Big?' In the article, Marisa explains how her lab is trying to come up with a better measurement from wastewaster surveillance - the equivalent of the 'per-capita case count', which the technique has been lacking:

The Center for the Study of Complex Systems is extremely proud of Dr. Eisenberg's work in public engagement; her work as Director of the Center, and continuing to be an exceptional mentor to so many. It's just hard to keep up with the news!