The Pandemic Sciences Institute has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) to become a partner institute.
The RVC is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London.
The partnership aims to facilitate collaborative research into infectious diseases and explore a One Health approach – a concept that recognises the relationship between health and disease at the interfaces between human, animals and the environment.
Professor Sir Peter Horby, Director of the PSI said:
“During the COVID-19 pandemic we saw time and again the critical importance of scientific collaboration in finding solutions to urgent public health challenges.
"By working across disciplines, this partnership between PSI and the RVC will mean we are better equipped to prepare for, identify and counter future pandemic threats.”
As a partner institute, the RVC will work alongside PSI in key areas including:
- Infectious diseases that originate from wild or domesticated animals and that can cause disease in humans
- Infectious diseases that may pass to and from humans and animals, including among people who work with wild or domestic animals
- Impacts of infectious disease on livestock, food production systems and food security
- One Health approaches to human and animal health, including anti-microbial resistance.
The RVC and PSI will meet in early Spring to set out the partnership’s broad aims.
Professor Stuart Reid CBE, President and Principal of the RVC said:
“As recent events bear testament, pathogens often respect neither geographical nor species boundaries. This important partnership will allow our institutions to work towards a level of understanding and preparedness as we bring together minds and facilities in a way that ensures synergy, novelty and above all excellence in addressing global disease threats.”
Professor Oliver Pybus FRS, PSI Investigator and Vice Principal for Research and Innovation and Professor of Infectious Diseases at the RVC said:
“This partnership will bring together PSI’s and RVC’s world-leading and complementary expertise in human and animal disease. I’m excited to be part of this collaboration and to develop new inter-disciplinary approaches to tackling the threat of future epidemics and pandemics.”