Image Description: the Radcliffe Camera with pink flowers in the foreground.
The University of Oxford is set to launch a new Pandemic Sciences Centre, to strengthen the ability of both academics and public health to respond to future pandemics.
The centre will incorporate a variety of institutes and expand on the global collaborative research that the University of Oxford values so much. The aim behind the project is to ensure that we are better prepared, across the world, to deal with future pandemics and the threats that they bring. The University have been keen to emphasise the idea that this is a global collaboration project and that the new centre will build on the connections made across the planet.
Another key aspect of the new project is that it will expand on the relations created between academia and public health bodies. These relationships have been key to the development of the response to the coronavirus pandemic and the University wants to build on them.
The centre will focus on three key ideas:
- Accelerating understanding and insights: generating actionable knowledge and data in near ‘real time’ and making this globally accessible
- Translating research into real-world solutions: creating and deploying effective, acceptable and equitable health technologies, including digital tools, diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.
- Enhancing confidence, trust and impact: identifying ways to strengthen societal and political engagement, resilience and responsiveness.
Louise Richardson, Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford said:
“The recent pandemic has demonstrated the unique contributions research universities like Oxford can make to pandemic preparedness. We are building on decades of medical research on infectious diseases and data science, we have longstanding international partnerships and we have the ability to act and to adapt quickly. When aligned with industry and with public health bodies and we can ensure that the world is never caught unprepared again.”
Professor Sir John Bell, Regis Professor of Medicine at Oxford University said:
“It would be easy to ignore just how much more serious a pandemic could have been this time around- other highly pathogenic viruses carry mortalities of 35-50% – imagine if we had a pandemic where one in three infected people died. The University of Oxford is uniquely capable of leading a global step change in how we respond to the threat of emerging infections. By investing in sound science now, we can help to safeguard our resilience, global economic stability and health security for generations to come. We are ready to take our vision to build on these foundations to ensure society is better prepared and agile in its response to future threats.”
Image Credit: Jonas Muschalski