The centre, which is able to embrace plenty of core institutes, will harness the robust international analysis collaborations that the college has developed over greater than 40 years, throughout nationwide borders between tutorial, business and public well being our bodies.
Louise Richardson, Oxford’s vice-chancellor, mentioned: “The recent pandemic has demonstrated the unique contributions research universities like Oxford can make to pandemic preparedness. We are building on decades of medical research on infectious disease and data science, we have long-standing international partnerships, and we have the ability to act and to adapt quickly.”
The centre will draw together academics and experts from across the university’s research and innovation community, including infectious diseases, vaccinology, immunology, structural biology, diagnostics, drug discovery, clinical trials, data science, public health, and social and political sciences.
The centre’s three core themes are: Accelerating understanding and insights: generating actionable knowledge and data (from pathogens through to patients) in near ‘real-time’ and making this globally accessible; translating research into real-world solutions: creating and deploying effective, acceptable and equitable health technologies, including digital tools, diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines; and enhancing confidence, trust and impact: identifying ways to strengthen societal and political engagement, resilience, and responsiveness.
The centre’s inaugural director will be Peter Horby, professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the university, who has worked on global health threats including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-1, bird flu, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Ebola, Lassa fever, and plague.
Horby said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that spectacular advances are possible through an alliance of science, the public sector and industry – creating digital disease control tools, diagnostic tests, and life-saving treatments and vaccines at unprecedented speed.”
He added: “But it should not take a pandemic to make this happen. This level of innovation and multi-sectoral collaboration must be applied, day in and day out, to prevent another catastrophe like Covid-19.”
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