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Boosting Australia’s response to infectious disease outbreaks

5 July 2016
Infectious diseases can disrupt health and society, locally and globally

University of Sydney researchers will partner with other leading national experts in clinical, laboratory and public health research on a new $5m initiative to boost Australia’s capacity to respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

Funded by The National Health and Medical Research Council, the initiative establishes a Centre of Research Excellence in Infectious Disease Emergency Response Research, entitled The Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies (APPRISE) to deliver a nationally coordinated, evidence-based response to infectious diseases.

The new partnership will focus on major infectious diseases threats.
Professor Tania Sorrell

“The new partnership will focus on major infectious diseases threats such as influenza, coronaviruses, haemorrhagic viral diseases, arboviruses, novel pathogens and antimicrobial resistance,” said the University of Sydney’s Professor Tania Sorrell, an APPRISE chief investigator.

Professor Sorrell, who is also Director of the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases, will lead the initiative’s education and capacity building cross cutting theme.

Co-chief investigator, Professor Lyn Gilbert will lead the infection prevention and control theme and associate investigator Professor Angus Dawson, both also from the Marie Bashir Institute, will lead the ethics research and policy development theme.

History tells us that new infectious diseases will continue to emerge but that we cannot predict when, where or how.
Professor Anne Kelso, NHMRC

NHMRC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Anne Kelso said the new Centre would play an important role in Australia’s readiness to respond to future pandemics and other infectious disease emergencies.

“History tells us that new infectious diseases will continue to emerge but that we cannot predict when, where or how.

"The purpose of this significant NHMRC grant is to establish national capability to respond rapidly when such threats do emerge by undertaking the research needed to inform the public health response,” Professor Kelso said.

The new Centre for Research Excellence brings together researchers from the University of Sydney through the Marie Bashir Institute, the University of Melbourne through the Doherty Institute, the Westmead Institute for Medical Research, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, the Burnet Institute, Deakin University, Griffith University, James Cook University, the Menzies School of Health Research, Monash University, The Kirby Institute,  University of New South Wales, the University of Queensland, and the University of Western Australia.

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