McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Virologist zeros in on link between animals and pandemics

Published: February 26, 2015
Ab Osterhaus
Ab Osterhaus, professor of virology in Rotterdam, Utrecht and Hannover, has discovered over 50 new viruses in humans and animals, and his work has enabled health authorities including the WHO to combat outbreaks like SARS, MERS, and avian influenza.

The links between zoonosis — or infectious diseases of animals that can naturally be transmitted to humans — and pandemics in our changing world was the topic of the Chanchlani Global Health Research lecture given Wednesday by Ab Osterhaus, a world-renowned virology professor from the Netherlands.

Osterhaus has a long track record as a scientific researcher, known for discovery of more than 50 new viruses of humans and animals, along with development of new prevention and treatment strategies. These have helped authorities such as the World Health Organization effectively combat disease outbreaks like SARS and the avian influenza.

As a professor in Rotterdam and Utrecht in the Netherlands, as well as in Hanover, Germany, his research program has involved an integrated 'viroscience' concept, which brings together world-leading scientists from all scientific disciplines that deal with viruses to study human and animal viral infections.

Following the lecture, Osterhaus received the Chanchlani Global Health Research Award that was created by the Chanchlani family and McMaster in 2012 to recognize a leading scholar in the area of global health.

During his stay at McMaster, Osterhaus also consulted with researchers of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and related departments.

View video of 2015 Chanchlani Global Health Research lecture
by Ab Osterhaus

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