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IMED 2011 • Vienna, Austria • February 4-7,2011

Plenary Lectures

Monitoring Infectious Diseases Threats in Europe
Marc SPRENGER (Sweden)

Friday, February 4, 2011, 14:30 - 15:00hrs

Dr. Marc Sprenger was appointed Director of ECDC in April 2010, following his election by the Centre’s Management Board in March 2010 and after his appearance before the European Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.

Dr. Sprenger took up his post on 1 May 2010 for a period of five years. Prior to coming to ECDC Dr. Sprenger was Director-General of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Bilthoven (2003-2010). Before that, Dr. Sprenger was Director of Health at the Netherland’s Healthcare Insurance Board (CVZ) (1999-2003), and Head of the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology at RIVM (1993-1999).

Key international posts held by Dr. Sprenger include being the ECDC Management Board’s founding Chairman (2004 – 2008), and being a member of the Executive Board of the International Association of Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) (2008-2010).

Dr. Sprenger is a medical microbiologist with a degree in medicine from the University of Maastricht (1988) and a PhD from Erasmus University, Rotterdam (1990). The subject of his PhD was the epidemiology of influenza.

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Wildlife and Emerging Diseases: Drivers, Maps and the Road Ahead

Friday, February 4, 2011, 16:30 - 17:15hrs

Dr Peter Daszak is President of EcoHealth Alliance (formerly Wildlife Trust), a US-based organization which conducts research and field programs on global health and conservation.  At EcoHealth Alliance, Dr Daszak manages a headquarters staff of 35 and a global staff of over 700 which conducts research and manages initiatives to prevent emerging pandemics and conserve wildlife biodiversity.  This includes research on zoonoses that spill over from wildlife in emerging disease 'hotspots', including influenza, Nipah virus, SARS, West Nile virus and others.  Dr Daszak’s work includes identifying the first case of a species extinction due to disease, the discovery of chytridiomycosis, the major cause of global amphibian declines, publishing the first paper to highlight emerging diseases of wildlife, coining the term ‘pathogen pollution’, discovery of the bat origin of SARS-like coronaviruses, identifying the drivers of Nipah and Hendra virus emergence, and producing the first ever emerging disease ‘hotspots’ map.

Dr Daszak is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Microbial Threats, and has served the IOM Committee on global surveillance for emerging zoonoses, the NRC committee on the future of veterinary research, and the International Standing Advisory Board of the Australian Biosecurity CRC.  In 2010, he advised the Director for Medical Preparedness

Policy on the White House National Security Staff on global health issues.  Dr Daszak is also a member of the Council of Advisors of the One Health Commission, Treasurer of DIVERSITAS (ICSU), Editor-in-Chief of the Springer journal Ecohealth, former Treasurer and a founding director of the International Ecohealth Association.  In 2000, he won the CSIRO medal for collaborative research in the discovery of amphibian chytridiomycosis. He has published over 140 scientific papers and book chapters, including papers in Science, Nature, PNAS, The Lancet, PLoS Biology and other leading journals.  Dr Daszak was invited to present his work at TEDMED, and has been the focus of articles in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Washington Post, US News & World Report  CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, ABC, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Morning Edition & Fresh Air with Terri Gross.  He is a former guest worker at the CDC where he assisted in the pathology activity during the 1999 Nipah virus outbreak.  His work is funded by the John E. Fogarty International Center of NIH, NIAID, NSF, USAID, Google.org, Rockefeller and other foundations.  To date, his organization is one of the few to have been awarded three prestigious NIH/NSF ‘Ecology of Infectious Disease’ awards, and is one of four partners to share a recent $75 million dollar award from USAID (“PREDICT”) with the goal of predicting and preventing the next emerging zoonotic disease.

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Emerging Arenaviruses
Robert SWANEPOEL (South Africa)

Saturday, February 5, 2011, 11:00 - 11:45hrs

Prof. Robert Swanepoel trained as a veterinarian in South Africa and obtained a PhD in Virology in Edinburgh. He worked in medical and veterinary, virology in Zimbabwe before assuming control of the newly established Special Pathogens Unit at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa in 1980, where he has remained as a Consultant on post-retirement contract since 2004. His research interests include arthropod-borne viruses and viral haemorrhagic fevers.


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The Spread of Emerging Diseases by Global Air Travel
Kamran KHAN (Canada)

Sunday, February 6, 2011, 11:00 - 11:45hrs

Dr. Khan is an infectious disease clinician and scientist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada and an Associate Professor of Medicine with the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Toronto, where he conducts research on global population mobility and infectious diseases. This encompasses the study of infectious diseases in immigrant and refugee populations and the global spread of infectious pathogens via the worldwide airline transportation network. Recently, he has been collaborating with colleagues in the field of Internet-based infectious disease surveillance to develop new models to mitigate infectious disease risks associated with global mass gatherings.


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Identifying New and Emerging Viruses
Linfa WANG (Australia)

Monday, February, 7, 2011, 11:00 - 11:45hrs

Dr Linfa (Lin-Fa) Wang is currently a CEO Science Leader at the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and an honorary professor at the University of Melbourne. Dr Wang is an internationally well known leader in the field of emerging zoonotic viruses. He is a member of the WHO SARS Scientific Research Advisory Committee, and played a key role in identification of bats as the natural host of SARS-like viruses. His research group also played a major role in the discovery and molecular analysis of Hendra virus, Nipah virus, Melaka virus, and many other novel bat-borne viruses. Dr Wang completed his science degree in 1982 at the East China Normal University, Shanghai, followed by a PhD in Biochemistry (Molecular Biology) from the University of California, Davis, USA in 1986. Dr Wang has more than 200 scientific publications, including papers in Science, Nature Review of Microbiology, PNAS, etc. He is currently serving on six editorial boards for publications in the areas of virology, biotechnology and immunotechnology.  Recently, he became an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.


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