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Published On: Sun, Jun 2nd, 2013

Joint Research Laboratory for Pathogen Discovery to open in Beijing

The Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health (CII) and the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention (NIVDC) within the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention will open a Joint Research Laboratory for Pathogen Discovery in Beijing, according to a CII news release.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

The joint effort will conduct surveillance, identify new infectious microbes, establish novel platforms for diagnostics, and develop drugs and vaccines to treat diseases in humans and animals.

The agreement, a decade in the making and formalized on May 9, will “enable CII and Chinese CDC investigators to work side-by-side developing solutions for pandemic threats to global health,” says W. Ian Lipkin, MD, director of CII.

“In 2013 the threat is not the SARS coronavirus—this time the imminent threats are the H7N9 influenza virus and the new coronavirus emerging in the Middle East,” says Dr. Lipkin, who serves as a Scientific Director of the laboratory along with Xiao-ping Dong, MD, and Administrative Director Zhao-jun Duan, PhD, of the NIVDC.

“This historic agreement comes at a crucial time. International collaboration is needed in the face of infectious disease outbreaks with the potential to rapidly cross borders and spread around the world,” says Dr. Dong.

The lab, expected to be up and running this summer, will employ state-of-the-art techniques to keep up with the rapidly increasing pace of pathogen discovery, which has been spurred by a global proliferation of microbial infections and improvements in methods for detection.

New molecular diagnostic platforms; investments in pathogen surveillance in wildlife, domestic animals and humans; and the advent of social media tools that mine the Internet for clues to outbreaks of infectious disease are proving invaluable in early recognition of threats to public health.

The Center for Infection and Immunity, located at the Mailman School,  is dedicated to promoting global health through innovative research and training programs in infectious disease. Its focus is on pathogen surveillance and discovery along with understanding how genes and the environment contribute to health and disease.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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