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Join the Goergen Institute for Data Science for How Can We Analyze Pandemics to Predict and Prevent the Next One, with Dr. Peter Daszak, President of EcoHealth Alliance.

Abstract: COVID-19, like almost all other previous pandemics, is caused by a zoonotic pathogen – a virus that originated in wildlife. Pandemics invariably begin when animal pathogens ‘spill over’ into people, often in remote locations, and begin a convoluted pathway through community spread into urban centers, then through our global travel and trade networks. At EcoHealth Alliance, we’ve spent over 20 years analyzing patterns in emerging diseases to try and predict what drives a pathogen to spill over, and what factors allow it to spread. This requires teasing apart complex socioecological systems, and datasets that are incomplete, or missing entirely. Our work shows that the ultimate goal, of a strategy to forecast, pre-empt and disrupt pandemics at their source, is achievable. However, like efforts to deal with climate change, preventing pandemics will require transformative change in the way we relate with nature.

Bio: Dr. Peter Daszak is President of EcoHealth Alliance, a US-based global non-profit that conducts research on the drivers of disease emergence, so as to prevent pandemics and promote conservation. Dr. Daszak’s research helped identify the bat origin of SARSr-CoVs and the drivers of Nipah virus emergence. He was involved in the discovery of SADS-CoV and chytridiomycosis as the cause global amphibian declines, and published the first global emerging disease ‘hotspots’ map. Dr. Daszak is a member of the US National Academy of Medicine, of the NASEM Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases & 21st Century Health Threats, and Chair of the NASEM’s Forum on Microbial Threats.

We have created a Zoom link for this talk for those who cannot attend in-person. A video recording of this lecture will also be made available after the talk. Please email sylvia.francisco@rochester.edu to request a link to the recording.

View the recording of this talk.

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