2020-11-01 - 2021-10-31 | Research area: EvoDevo
Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs) are one of the major threats on global human health and economy, with an increasing number of novel epidemics appearing each year. Although they vary in pathogen and severity, the underlying evolutionary processes of emergence are shared by all, it is therefore through these drivers that we can predict and act to prevent outbreaks. The DAMA protocol was developed as a framework for coping with EIDs, where Documentation of potential pathogens is followed by an Assessment of the risk they pose. High-risk taxa and their reservoir hosts are then Monitored to reveal geographic distribution and an Action plan can be developed to avoid infection of human and/or economically significant species (livestock, crops).
As a comprehensive protocol, the DAMA’s final Action phase requires the efficient and fluent collaboration of multiple diverse fields, such as research, health care, economics, politics and policy-making. My proposal aims to initiate targeted discussions with experts of the mentioned areas in an effort to create crucial guidelines and scenarios for the implementation of the DAMA protocol. My work will include contacting current and potential collaborators, round-table discussions, analysis of case studies, theoretical simulations of hypothetical epidemics and the creation of final reports containing significant challenges, recommendations and action plans specific for each field.
As a member of the KLI community, I will also use this opportunity to invite collaborators to contribute to the institute in the form of talks, seminars and symposia, and further raise awareness about EIDs among the general public through various tools of science communication.