The KLI support international groups of scholars in the life and sustainability sciences working on interdisciplinary projects to conduct their groundbreaking research at the institute. KLI Focus Groups and Working Groups aim to develop ideas on a particular subject and generate suggestions for action. The participants have different scientific backgrounds and strive to develop specific, practical goals. Focus Groups are one-time meetings gathering and working together at the KLI for a period of one to maximum two weeks. Working Groups comprise 3 meetings over the course of one year and a half.
Topic description / abstract:
The Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) crisis has been a global health security challenge for decades, with COVID-19 serving as only the latest example of our inability to prevent outbreaks. In lack of implementing novel evolutionary knowledge explaining the process of emergence, our main focus remains preparing for the inevitable. The Stockholm paradigm (SP) is an alternative evolutionary framework that suggests host changes leading to EID can be predicted because preexisting genetic capacities for colonizing new hosts are highly specific and phylogenetically conservative. The DAMA (Document, Assess, Monitor, Act) protocol is a policy extension of the SP that can both prevent and mitigate EID by enhancing traditional efforts through adding early warning signs and predicting transmission dynamics.
In this talk, I show the importance of establishing efficient communication channels between various stakeholders affected by EIDs. I describe implementation strategies of preventive interventions on global, regional and local scales, and provide guidelines for using such strategies in relevant policy environments of human, livestock and crop diseases.
Orsolya Rita Bajer-Molnár Ph.D. is an evolutionary biologist, with a passion for both research and education. She received her Master’s diploma from Eötvös Loránd University in Evolutionary biology, Ecology and Systematics. Five years later she completed her Ph.D in Behavioural ecology and Evolutionary biology. She then won a postdoctoral scholarship at Dartmouth College, NH, after which she continued research at UFRN in Brazil. Upon returning, she turned towards the evolutionary dynamics of emerging infectious diseases, which she is currently working on in collaboration with the University of Nebraska (USA) and Centre for Ecology Research (Hungary). She has been a senior fellow at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research before working at the Medical University of Vienna.
Throughout her research, she had always been interested in science communication. Overseas she organized networking events, conferences and outreach programmes, and taught graduate and undergraduate students. She took an active role in science communication, and after numerous appearances she just recently gave a TedX talk. Her aim is to increase the visibility of research, and thus facilitate a combined effort to prevent the emerging infectious diseases.