The Program in Zoonotic Virus Infections is focused on expanding our understanding of the potential of the estimated 1.6 million viruses capable of infecting mammals and birds that may have the ability to produce a novel pandemic in humans.
The goal is to perform the innovative research needed to understand the mechanisms of viral emergence, prediction of new emerging viruses, and development of countermeasures for zoonotic threats. Adding climate change, urbanization, and globalization to our expanding human population has increased the threat of zoonotic events with devastating consequences.
The program will build on existing strengths in influenza viruses, emerging vector-borne viruses such as Zika and dengue, novel animal models of viral zoonosis, and evolutionary virology. A monthly seminar series will host leading experts in zoonotic viruses from around the world while a monthly works-in-progress member meeting will ignite new collaborations with members presenting data to get feedback.