Jul 1 1 – 7 July 2018 at the University of Hong Kong

Croucher Summer Courses

Every summer the Croucher Foundation funds short courses that aim to educate and inspire postgraduate students and early career researchers from Hong Kong an...

Emerging Viral Infections: The One-Health Approach

This new Croucher Summer Course series will provide students, scientists and health professionals with consistent knowledge and interdisciplinary training through an international faculty of world-leading scientists. It is expected that this proposal, specifically tailored around new technologies and recent evolutions in global health, will train the next generation of scientists to effectively confront global health challenges. Special emphasis will be placed on discussing cutting-edge approaches (such as the use of “omics” tools and the harnessing of big data) to investigate the interspecies transmission of pathogens, a major threat to human health.

Recent epidemics (avian and pandemic influenza, chikungunya, SARS and MERS coronaviruses, Ebola, Zika virus etc.) have underscored not only the growing globalization of health issues, but also the intimate relationships among human health, animal health and our ecosystems. It is estimated that 60% of newly emerging infectious diseases are of animal origin (zoonoses). All available data highlight the impact of research and education in providing evidence-based findings to inform the public, international and national policy makers, private global health stakeholders and drive the research-training agenda, between and during outbreak situations. It is time to set up a new course series that will address the grand challenges of containing emerging viral infections with an inclusive One-Health approach combining the fields of animal and human health. 

This new Croucher Summer Course series will provide students, scientists and health professionals with consistent knowledge and interdisciplinary training through an international faculty of world-leading scientists. It is expected that this proposal, specifically tailored around new technologies and recent evolutions in global health, will train the next generation of scientists to effectively confront global health challenges. Special emphasis will be placed on discussing cutting-edge approaches (such as the use of “omics” tools and the harnessing of big data) to investigate the interspecies transmission of pathogens, a major threat to human health.

Participants will include postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior investigators from local, mainland, regional and worldwide universities and research organizations. We will introduce the selected participants to novel concepts and disciplines, including mathematical approaches, infection control and preparedness, and systems biology to apprehend host-pathogen interactions and countermeasures. Participants will be exposed to lectures and tailor-made tutorials to review the biology of emerging viruses, discuss knowledge gaps, and plan holistic approaches to develop cutting edge projects with implications for biomedical research and public health policies.

  • This course series will center on understanding and establishing common principles to help combat current and future viral threats. The interdisciplinary program of the series, prepared by a team of local and overseas directors with international recognition and extensive experience in educational initiatives will integrate basic, clinical and epidemiological research spanning the animal human interface to address the major challenges to confront emerging viral pathogens. It is anticipated that this program will help train the next generation of scientist that will have leadership roles in global health in different countries, thereby contributing to maintain and enhance Hong Kong’s world-leading status in research on emerging viral infections. We are confident that this course series will 
  • Facilitate the emergence of a new generation of scientists through the active training of new talents and the establishment of novel paradigms of research applications and public health policies;
  • Expand the scope of investigations of researchers and their abilities to probe the drivers of infectious diseases and design research that will ultimately lead to improving health; 
  • Promote a multidisciplinary network of skilled and experienced professionals who meet the highest international standards necessary to answer global health threats; 
  • Participate in knowledge exchange programs that allow engaging the public and promote scientific culture.
Logo Hku A Croucher Summer Course in partnership with the University of Hong Kong.