Michael von Fricken, MPH, PhD

Titles and Organizations

Associate Professor, Public Health

Contact Information

Email: mvonfric@gmu.edu
Phone: 703-993-4677
Building: Peterson Hall
Room 5107

Personal Websites


Dr. Michael E. von Fricken is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Global and Community Health. His research interests include vector-borne disease surveillance, control, and pathogen discovery. He has ongoing projects in Kenya, Mongolia, and Haiti focusing specifically on emerging pathogens transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks, and has conducted international training workshops on appropriate field methodology and data management for vector borne disease research. His work has had a direct impact guiding treatment policies of Rickettsial infections in Mongolia and the management of malaria in Haiti. He received his PhD from the University of Florida and completed his postdoctoral fellowship with Duke University, Division of Infectious Disease. He is now currently a Research Associate with the Smithsonian Institution, National Zoological Park, and holds a Visiting Scientist designation with the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) Diagnostic Systems Division, based out of Fort Detrick, MD.



Ongoing Research Support

Department of Defense, Global Emerging Infections Surveillance (DoD-GEIS)

Title: “Vector Mapping of Ticks and Tick-Borne Pathogens of Mongolia” P0133_19_AF

Prime: AFRIMS and NAMRU-2 

Year two of DoD GEIS project, where project continues to map and understand the distribution of high consequence tick pathogens in Mongolia and contribute to force health protection in the INDOPACOM region. 

Role: Co-PI


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Title: “Applied Research to Address the COVID-19 Emerging Public Health Emergency”

Prime: Vysnova Partners Inc

Serving as a technical advisor for a multi-state effort conducting surveillance for COVID-19.

Role: Subject Matter Expert

Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP)

Title: “Remote Emerging Disease Intelligence NETwork (REDI-NET)”

Prime: Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), PI – Yvonne Linton

The REDI-NET program focuses on emerging disease surveillance in Belize and Kenya piloting rapid diagnostic testing protocols, while conducting research on emerging diseases at human-animal interfaces   

Role: Co-I


George Mason University, Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE)

Title: “TREMoR – Tick collection Robot for Entomological Modeling Research; An innovative approach to tick-borne disease surveillance” PI – von Fricken ME

Prime: Mason

Budget: $40,000 for 7/31/2019 – 12/31/2021

Funded to construct stationary prototypes of tick-collecting robots that use movement, baits, CO2, and heat to attract ticks from the environment, which will then be used to model density and infection likelihood.

Role: PI



Student Mentees*, Co-first author†

von Fricken ME. Living with the longhorned: A perspective on invasive Haemaphysalis longicornis ticks in the United States. Zoonoses Public Hlth. 2020 (Accept)

Schmidt ME, von Fricken ME, Wofford RN*, Libby RC, Maddox PJ. Access to Care During a Pandemic: Improving Planning Efforts to Incorporate Community Primary Care Practices and Public Health Stakeholders. World Med Health Policy. 2020 (Accept)

Pfeffer DA, Ley B, Howes RE, Adu P, Alam MS, Bansil P, Il BY, Brito M, Charoenkwan P, Clements A, Cui L, Deng Z, Egesie OJ, Espino FE, von Fricken ME, … Price RN. Correction: Quantification of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity by spectrophotometry: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med. 2020; 17(7): e1003311. PMID: 32706838

Xia LY, Jiang BG, Yuan TT, von Fricken ME, Jia N, Jiang RR, Zhang Y, Li XL, Sun Y, Ruan XD, Cao WC, Jiang JF. Genetic Diversity and Coexistence of Babesia in Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) from Northeastern China. Vector-Borne Zoonot. 2020 (Accept) PMID: 32749919           

Pfeffer DA, Ley B, Howes RE, Adu P, Alam MS, Bansil P, Il BY, Brito M, Charoenkwan P, Clements A, Cui L, Deng Z, Egesie OJ, Espino FE, von Fricken ME, … Price RN. Quantification of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity by spectrophotometry: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med. 2020; 17(5): e1003084. PMID: 32407380    

Weinstein J*, Leslie TF, von Fricken ME. Spatial associations between land use and infectious disease: Zika in Colombia. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020; 17(4): E1127

Zawada SG*, von Fricken ME, Weppelmann TA, Sikaroodi M, Gillevet P. Optimization of tissue sampling for Borrelia burgdorferi in white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopos). PLoS One. 2020; 15(1): e0226798. PMID 31978068   

Fuseini G, Ismail HM, von Fricken ME, Weppelmann TA, Logan RAE, Oladepo F, Walker KJ, Smith JM, Phiri WP, Paine MJI, García GA. Improving the performance of spray operators through monitoring and evaluation of insecticide concentrations of Actellic 300CS during indoor residual spraying for malaria control on Bioko Island. Mal J. 2020; 19(1): 35. PMID 31964374  

von Fricken ME, Qurollo B, Boldbaatar B, Wang YW, Jiang RR, Lkhagvatseren S, Koehler JW, Moore TC, Nymadawa P, Anderson BD, Matulis G, Jiang JF, Gray GC. Genetic diversity of Anaplasma and Ehrlichia bacteria found in Dermacentor and Ixodes ticks in Mongolia. Ticks Tick-Borne Dis. 2020; 11(1):101316. PMID 31677968  

Ley B, Satyagraha AW, Rahmat H, von Fricken ME, Douglas NM, Pfeffer DA, Espino F, von Seidlein L, Henriques G, Oo NN, Menard D, Parikh S, Bancone G, Karahalios A, Price RN. Performance of the Accessbio/Carestart rapid diagnostic test for detection of glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med. 2019; 16(12): e1002992

Zimmerman DM, Hardgrove EH, von Fricken ME, Kamau J, Chai D, Mutura S, Kivali V, Hussein F, Ambala P, Surmat A, Maina JG, Knauf S. Endemiciy of Yaws Shown by Treponema pallidum Antibodies in Nonhuman Primates, Kenya. Emerg Infect Dis. 2019; 25(11):2147-2149. PMID 31625860

Fuseini G, Phiri WP, von Fricken ME, Smith J, Garcia GA. Evaluation of the residual effectivenss of Fludora™ fusion WP-SB, a combination of clothianidin and deltamethrin, for the control of pyrethroid-resistant malaria vectors on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Acta Trop. 2019; 196:42-47. PMID 31077641

von Fricken ME, Rolomjav L, Illar M*, Altantogtokh D, Hogan KM*, Uyanga B, Ganbold D, Tsogbadrakh N,. Geographic distribution of Lyme borreliosis in Mongolia. Vector-Borne Zoonot. 2019; 19(9):658-661 PMID 30835648

Lkhagvatseren S, Hogan KM*, Boldbaatar B, von Fricken ME, Anderson BD, Pulscher L*, Caddell L*, Nymadawa P, Gray GC. Discrepancies between self-reported tick bites and evidence of tick-borne disease exposure among Nomadic Mongolian herders. Zoonoses Public Hlth. 2019; 66(5): 480-486. PMID 30969028    

Robertson DL, Babin LM*, Krall JR, von Fricken ME, Baghi H, Jacobsen KH. The association between hunter-killed deer and Lyme disease in New Hersey, 2000-2014. EcoHealth. 2019; 16(2):330-337 PMID 30825021

Fuseini G, Nguema RN, Phiri WP, Donfack OT, Cortes C, von Fricken ME, Meyers JI, Kleinschmidt I, Garcia G, Maas C, Schwabe C, Slotman MA. Increased biting rate of insecticide-resistant Culex mosquitoes and community adherence to IRS for malaria control in urban Malabo, Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. J Med Entomol. 2019; 56 (4): 1071-1077 PMID 30882148

Weppelmann TA, Norris MH, von Fricken ME, Siddiqur M, Khan R, Okech BA, Canella AP, Schweizer HP, Tuanyok A. Seroepidemiology of Burkholderia pseudomallei, etiologic agent of melioidosis, in the Ouest and Sud-Est Departments of Haiti. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2018; 99(5): 1222-1228. PMID 30226137

Moore TC*, Pulscher LA*, Caddell L*, von Fricken ME, Anderson BD, Gonchigoo B, Gray GC. Transovarial Transmission of Tick-borne Pathogens Circulating in Northern Mongolia. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018; 12(8): e0006696 PMID 30148847

Jiang JF, Jiang RR, Chang QC, Zheng YC, Jiang BG, Sun Y, Jia N, Chi YL, Wei R, Liu HB, Huo QB, Wang H, von Fricken ME, Cao WC. Potential Novel Tick-borne Colpodella species Parasite Infection with Neurological Symptoms. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2018; 12(8): e0006546 PMID 30071019

Weppelmann TA, Stephenson CJ*, Musih E*, Dame JB, Remy MY, Nicolas R, von Fricken ME. Elimination or More Accurate Estimation? Investigation of trends in malaria diagnoses in the Ouest Department of Haiti from 2008 to 2017. PLoS One. 2018; 13(6): e0198070. PMID 29879170

Painter JE, von Fricken ME, Viana de O. Mesquita S*, DiClemente RJ. Willingness to Pay for an Ebola Vaccine during the 2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak in West Afria: Results from a U.S. National Sample. Hum Vacc Immunother 2018; 14(6). PMID 29333950

Pulscher LA*, Moore TC*, Caddell L*, Lkhagvatseren S, von Fricken ME, Anderson BD, Gonchigoo B, Gray GC. A Cross-sectional study of small mammals for tick-borne pathogen infection in Northern Mongolia. Infect Ecol Epidemiol 2018; 8:1, 1450591. PMID 29696073

von Fricken ME, Sukhbaatar L, Bazartseren B, Nymadawa P, Weppelmann TA, Bekhochir B, Anderson BD, Lantos PM, Gray GC. Seroprevalence of Anaplasma spp. and Spotted fever group (SFG) Rickettsia exposure among Herders and Livestock in Mongolia. Acta Trop 2018; 177:179-185. PMID:29054570

von Fricken ME, Baigalmaa B, Dalantai G, Valenzuela L*, Nymadorj T, Painter J, Lantos P. A Fatal Case of Imported Malaria in a Non-Endemic Developing Country – Mongolia, 2016. Asian Pac J Trop Med 2017; 7 (12): 815-6 

Gao ZH, Huang TH, Jiang BG, Jia N, Liu ZX, Shao ZT, Jiang RR, Liu HB, Wei R, Li YQ, Yao HW, von Fricken ME, Jiang J, Du CH, Cao WC. Wide Distribution and Genetic Diversity of Babesia microti in Small Mammals from Yunnan Province, Southwestern China. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017; Accepted 8/23/2017.

Stephenson CJ, Rossheim ME, Frankenfeld CL, Boncy J, Okech BA, von Fricken ME. Cross-sectional analysis of the association between bedtime and malaria exposure in the Ouest and Sud-Est Departments of Haiti. Acta Trop 2017; 176:188-191. PMID: 28818627

Boldbaatar B†, Jiang RR†, von Fricken ME, Lkhagvatseren S, Nymadawa P, Bekhochir B, Wang Y, Anderson BA, Jiang JF, Gray GC. Distribution and Molecular Characteristics of Rickettsiae Found in Ticks across Central Mongolia. Parasit Vectors. 2017; 10(1):61. PMID: 28153052

Painter J, DiClemente R, von Fricken ME. Brief Report: Interest in an Ebola vaccine among a U.S. national sample during the 2015-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Vaccine. 2017; 35(4):508-512. PMID: 28040206

Weppelmann TA†, von Fricken ME†, Wilfong T†, Aguenza E*, Telisma T, Okech BA. Field trial of the CareStartTM Biosensor Analyzer for the Determination of Glucoe-6-phosphate Dehydrogenase Activity in Haiti. Am J of Trop Med Hyg. August 2017; [epub] PMID: 28820691

Weppelmann TA, von Fricken ME, Masse R, Gelin G, Morris JG, Okech BA, Beau de Rochars V. Indicators of growth and anemia in schoolchildren from the Ouest and Sud-Est departments of Haiti: a cross-sectional study. BMC Nutrition. 2016; 2:68 https://doi.org/10.1186/s40795-016-0107-1

Weppelmann TA, Burne A, von Fricken ME, Elbadry M, Beau de Rochars V, Boncy J, Okech BA, A tale of two Flaviviruses: a seroepidemiological study of dengue virus and West Nile virus transmission in the Ouest and Sud-Est Departments of Haiti. Am J of Trop Med Hyg. 2017; 96(1): 135-140. PMID: 27879463

Weppelmann TA†, von Fricken ME†, Lam B*, Telisma T, Existe A, Larkin J, Okech BA. Sparse serological evidence of Plasmodium vivax transmission in the Ouest and Sud-Est Departments of Haiti. Acta Trop 2016; 162:27-34. PMID: 27230796

Hosford JD†, von Fricken ME†, Lauzardo M, Chang M, Dai Y, Lyon JA, Shuster J, Fennelly K. Hepatotoxicity from Antituberculous Therapy in the Elderly: A Systematic Review. Tuberculosis. 2015; 95(2):112-122. PMID: 25595441

von Fricken ME, Weppelmann TA, Lam B, Eaton WT, Schick L, Masse R, Beau De Rochars MVB, Existe A, Larkin J, Okech BA. Age-specific malaria seroprevalence rates: a cross-sectional analysis of malaria transmission in the Ouest and Sud-Est departments of Haiti. Malar J. 2014; 13:361. PMID: 25218803

Carter TA, von Fricken ME, Romain JR, Memnon G, St. Victor Y, Schick L, Okech BA, Mulligan CJ. Detection of Sickle Cell Hemoglobin in Haiti by Genotyping and Hemoglobin Solubility Tests. Am J of Trop Med Hyg. 2014; 91(2):406-411. PMID: 24957539

von Fricken ME, Weppelmann TA, Eaton WT, Alam MT, Carter TE, Schick L, Masse R, Romain JR, Okech BA. Prevalence of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency in the Ouest and Sud-Est departments of Haiti. Acta Trop. 2014; 135:62-66. PMID: 24681219

Carter TE, Maloy H, von Fricken ME, St. Victor Y, Romain JR, Okech BA, Mulligan CJ. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency A- variant in febrile patients in Haiti. Am J of Trop Med Hyg, 2014; 91(2):412-414. PMID: 24891465

von Fricken ME, Weppelmann TA, Eaton WT, Masse R, Beau De Rochars MV, Okech BA. Performance of the CareStartTM glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) rapid diagnostic test, in Gressier, Haiti. Am J of Trop Med Hyg. 2014; 91(1):77-80. PMID: 24778197

von Fricken ME, Weppelmann TA, Hosford JD, Existe A, Okech BA. Malaria Treatment Policies and drug efficacy in Haiti from 1955-2012. J Pharm Policy Pract. 2013; 6:10. PMID: 25848539

Weppelmann TA, Carter TE, Zhongsheng C, von Fricken ME, Memnon G, Victor YS, Existe A, Okech BA. Lack of Plasmodium vivax infections and high frequency of the erythroid silent Duffy antigen genotype in Haiti. Malar J, 2013; 12:30. PMID: 23347639




  • Postdoctoral Associate, Duke Infectious Disease, Duke University
  • PhD, Public Health, University of Florida
  • MPH, Epidemiology, University of Florida
  • BS, Health Sciences, James Madison University