Profiting from the Past: Has History Helped us Understand Infectious Diseases?

Date: 27 March 2015
Time: 4:30 - 6:00pm
Venue:Mrs Chen Yang Foo Oi Telemedicine Centre, 2/F, William MW Mong Block, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong

Profiting from the Past: Has History Helped us Understand Infectious Diseases? by Professor Joe Brownlie (Royal Veterinary College, London)

 conference posterAbstract:
There is considerable concern about the threats posed by new and emerging diseases.  During a UK Government review of these risks (the Foresight programme on ‘The Detection and Identification of Infectious Diseases’), it became apparent that a new human disease arose every 8 months and that the majority of these arose from animal diseases. These so-called zoonotic diseases remind us that veterinary and human diseases are a continuum and should be considered in their entirety – the ‘One Health’ agenda.  This is not a new understanding and many of the early plagues and pandemics that affected mankind clearly had an animal origin.  There is, however, a danger that without understanding and recalling the history of these diseases and their control, we fail to remember the lessons learnt about the critical steps necessary for control. We should examine these steps to agree what were generic for controlling infectious diseases and whether they are still important.  In this lecture, it is intended to look at new and emerging contemporary diseases in the light of our historical understanding of diseases and their control. 

About the Speaker:
Professor Joe Brownlie

Professor Joe Brownlie is Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Pathology at the Royal Veterinary College, London.  He has made key contributions to the understanding of many infectious diseases, including Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus, Bovine Immunodeficiency Virus, Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Bluetongue, and Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease.  He is widely considered to be one of the most authoritative experts on emerging disease threats to the UK.

Professor Brownlie has acted as the veterinary expert on the National Expert Panel for New & Emerging Infections and also as Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Select Committee on Biosecurity in UK Research Laboratories. In 2005, he was appointed the veterinary expert member of the four-member co‐ordination team of Professor Sir David King’s Foresight Programme on ‘Detection and Identification of Infectious Diseases.’ As such, he represented veterinary science and veterinary issues, particularly for the future risks and technologies over the next 25‐30 years. Professor Brownlie has published over 150 research papers, presented internationally at over 320 meetings, and supervised 32 PhD students. He has been the recipient of a number of distinguished national and international awards for his work.

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This event is co-organized with the AoE: Control of Pandemic and Inter-Pandemic Influenza.