GLOPID-R

Newsletter

September 2016

Welcome to the second edition of the GloPID-R Newsletter

First and foremost, I am pleased to announce that the GloPID-R organization is continuing to widen its global scope. Indeed, since our last Newsletter, the GloPID-R membership has expanded to 25 and now includes two new members. We are delighted to welcome the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research & Technology, represented by Dr. Amr Radwan and the UK Medical Research Council, represented by Dr. Mark Palmer.

In addition, the Scientific Advisory Board now comprises 14 of the world’s preeminent specialists with the recent nominations of Dr. Rose Leke and Professor Kevin Marsh. I would also like to thank our members for their dynamic response and the many pertinent articles they contributed. To ensure that we keep up to date with all our members’ activities, we would welcome your input! Please send the GloPID-R Secretariat your news, updates and comments to share in upcoming newsletters: communications@glopid-r.org

Line Matthiessen
GloPID-R Chair

GloPID-R activities

Response Plan Working Group

The aim of the Response Plan is to be the network’s mechanism to recognize significant outbreaks of new or re-emerging infectious diseases, to assess whether an accelerated and coordinated research response can contribute to improved control and health outcomes, and to facilitate the appropriate response.

Read more

Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)

During their August 16 teleconference, the Chairs agreed the nominations of Dr. Rose Leke (Professor of Immunology and Parasitology, Director of the Biotechnology Centre at Université de Yaoundé, proposed by IDRC) and Professor Kevin Marsh (senior advisor to and proposed by the African Academy of Science) to the Scientific Advisory Board. The SAB is now nearly complete and composed of 14 of the world’s preeminent specialists.

Read more

Yellow Fever

Based on the research gaps and possible priorities identified by the SAB, the objective of the GloPID-R yellow fever working group is to explore areas of action for funders. The first meeting was held on July 27 with discussions focused on a potential study to be commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which would assess 1/5 fractional dosing in HIV+ adults and healthy children.

Read more

Data Sharing Working Group

The objective of this working group is to develop a framework for data sharing during public health emergencies, including the question of governance and the issues of a repository and data standards.

Read more

Zika Workshop

A workshop for grantees of Zika projects funded by CIHR, IDRC and the European Commission and other GloPID-R members will take place from November 30 to December 2 at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. The workshop objective is to promote and establish collaboration and synergies between the Zika research projects funded by GloPID-R members. For more information please contact the Secretariat.

GloPID-R member activities

German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)Annual Meeting of the German Center for Infection Research

The Annual Meeting of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) will take place November 24–26 in Cologne, Germany.

Ebola and Zika viruses, dangerous hospital pathogens and extensively resistant tuberculosis bacteria have recently drastically demonstrated the kind of global challenges with which infection research has repeatedly been confronted.

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The German G7 Global Health Program

As a direct implication of the 2015 G7 summit in Elmau, Germany is increasing its efforts in supporting partner countries in response to outbreaks and in the implementation of resilient healthcare systems. A main focus lies on strengthening international activities in the field of infectious diseases.

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Fiocruz“Beyond Zika”: a Tripartite Initiative

Scientists from Brazil, France, USA, and Australia gathered at the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil, for a 2-day workshop on August 29 and 30 to present the most recent findings on the Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic. They discussed perspectives regarding a more comprehensive understanding of the virus biology, possible outcomes for the current outbreak, as well as other infectious challenges that may pose threats to human health, particularly for those living in tropical countries like Brazil.

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Inserm

REACTing (REsearch and ACTion targeting emerging infectious diseases), the French collaborative research network, was established in 2014 with the aim of facilitating and improving research response to epidemics[1].

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The Research Council of NorwayThe Research Council of Norway name Dr. John-Arne Røttingen as their new Director General

John-Arne Røttingen has officially been appointed as the new Director General of the Research Council of Norway. Dr. Røttingen is currently Executive Director of Infection Control and Environmental Health at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

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The National Health and Medical Research Council, AustraliaA grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council to boost Australia’s response to infectious disease outbreaks

In July 2016, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), announced the funding of a NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) to improve the country’s national readiness to undertake emergency response research during an infectious disease outbreak.

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Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)Japanese AMED research project and Brazilian institute workshop on Zika virus

A Workshop on Zika virus was held at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in Tokyo on July 12 and 13. It brought together the researchers from the AMED-funded project comprising NIID, Nagasaki University, and Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation, from Japan, and researchers from the Institute Oswald Cruz and National Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Laboratory of Immunopathology Keizo Asami, Federal University of Pernambuco, from Brazil.

Read more

GloPID-R activities

Response Plan Working Group

The aim of the Response Plan is to be the network’s mechanism to recognize significant outbreaks of new or re-emerging infectious diseases, to assess whether an accelerated and coordinated research response can contribute to improved control and health outcomes, and to facilitate the appropriate response.

Read more

Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)

During their August 16 teleconference, the Chairs agreed the nominations of Dr. Rose Leke (Professor of Immunology and Parasitology, Director of the Biotechnology Centre at Université de Yaoundé, proposed by IDRC) and Professor Kevin Marsh (senior advisor to and proposed by the African Academy of Science) to the Scientific Advisory Board. The SAB is now nearly complete and composed of 14 of the world’s preeminent specialists.

Read more

Yellow Fever

Based on the research gaps and possible priorities identified by the SAB, the objective of the GloPID-R yellow fever working group is to explore areas of action for funders. The first meeting was held on July 27 with discussions focused on a potential study to be commissioned by the Wellcome Trust, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which would assess 1/5 fractional dosing in HIV+ adults and healthy children.

Read more

Data Sharing Working Group

The objective of this working group is to develop a framework for data sharing during public health emergencies, including the question of governance and the issues of a repository and data standards.

Read more

Zika Workshop

A workshop for grantees of Zika projects funded by CIHR, IDRC and the European Commission and other GloPID-R members will take place from November 30 to December 2 at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. The workshop objective is to promote and establish collaboration and synergies between the Zika research projects funded by GloPID-R members. For more information please contact the Secretariat.

Recent outcome on MERS-CoV from AMED-funded research project

In an article published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy on August 22, Jun-ichiro Inoue, Professor at the Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo and his colleagues announced that they have successfully identified nafamostat as a potent inhibitor of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) corona virus S-mediated membrane fusion using the split protein-based cell-cell fusion assay in a high-throughput screening (HTS) format. This assay has the potential to facilitate the discovery of new inhibitors of membrane fusion of MERS-CoV as well as other viruses that rely on transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2).

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada

IDRC supports African science journalists to improve accurate communications on outbreaks

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) with the World Federation of Science Journalists and Fondation Hirondelle are supporting the African Association of Science Journalists to strengthen mass media campaigns and counteract the misinformation on Ebola transmission and control that is still rife in communities large and small, rural and urban. The project has improved access of local journalists to reliable sources of expertise and fact-based information on Ebola disease and transmission, improved skills, capacities, and motivation to understand and use science-based information in reporting. Over 50 African journalists from affected countries in West Africa have been trained to date. Complementary activities in other regions of Africa will extend to emerging and post-outbreak public health challenges other than Ebola, and will support on-the-ground communication and journalism for health promotion and action.

Canada’s foray into Zika research

During its last open competition in June 2016, CIHR has funded research on Zika virus at the University of Alberta for a total of approximately Can$1M. This research, entitled ‘Zika Virus Biology, diagnostics, and therapeutic approaches’ will run for 5 years and should produce better tools and animal models to study the virus, as well as to screen and design therapeutics to block transmission of the virus.

Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCYT), Argentina

The third workshop of the 2014-2016 Project: ‘Addressing the emergence and dispersion of leishmaniasis in the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay’, with the collaboration of PAHO and the support of the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada, was held at the INMeT (National Institute of Tropical Medicine) in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina during the first week of August 2016. The third workshop of the 2014-2016 Project: ‘Addressing the emergence and dispersion of leishmaniasis in the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay’, with the collaboration of PAHO and the support of the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada, was held at the INMeT (National Institute of Tropical Medicine) in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina during the first week of August 2016.

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Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)

The CEPI was formally established at a meeting of its stakeholders in London on August 30. The CEPI is a new coalition of stakeholders from international organizations, governments, industry, public and philanthropic R&D funders, academia, NGOs and civil society groups who agreed to explore new ways of working to drive vaccine innovation to address public health threats, in alignment with the WHO Blueprint for R&D.

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Upcoming Events

Mosquito-borne Viruses: can we build on commonalities to pre-empt the future?

October 5-7, 2016
London (UK)

Outbreak Intervention Symposium

October 13-14, 2016
Quebec (Canada)

Canadian Immunization Conference

December 6-8, 2016
Ottawa (Canada)

IMI Stakeholder Forum 2016

September 28-29, 2016
Brussels (Belgium)

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The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 874667.