Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases Annual Lecture 2021 with Dr Maria D. Van Kerkhove
The LSHTM Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases (CMMID) is pleased to host Dr Maria D. Van Kerkhove, the Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and the COVID-19 Technical Lead at the World Health Organization, to deliver this year’s CMMID’s Annual Lecture.
COVID-19 pandemic: A global overview of the current situation and potential futures
Well into the second year of the pandemic, the global situation remains very dynamic and highly unstable yet one thing is clear: we are still in the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Global trends are driven by more transmissible variants, possibly with properties of immune escape; unequal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to at-risk populations and unequal access to lifesaving tools such as diagnostics, therapeutics and personal protective equipment; increased social mixing combined with the relaxation of public health and social measures designed to limit transmission; and the deadly impacts of mis- and dis-information.
This lecture will provide an overview of the global epidemiological situation and the drivers of global trends, the World Health Organization’s comprehensive strategy for coordinated public health action and possible futures of the pandemic.
Dr Maria D. Van Kerkhove, World Health Organization, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, COVID-19 Technical Lead and Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit Lead
Maria Van D. Kerkhove is an infectious disease epidemiologist and the COVID-19 Technical Lead at WHO. Dr Van Kerkhove specialises in outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging pathogens. She completed her undergraduate degree at Cornell University, an MS degree at Stanford University, and a PhD in infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Apart from being the Technical Lead for COVID-19, Dr Van Kerkhove is also the Head of the Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit and the MERS-CoV Technical Lead in the WHO’s Health Emergency Program. Dr Van Kerkhove’s main research interests include zoonotic, respiratory and emerging/re-emerging viruses such as avian influenza, MERS-CoV, Ebola, Marburg, plague and Zika. She is particularly interested in investigating factors associated with transmission between animals and humans, the epidemiology of zoonotic pathogens, and ensuring research directly informs public health policies for action.
Prior to WHO, Dr Van Kerkhove was the Head of the Outbreak Investigation Task Force at Institut Pasteur’s Center for Global Health where she was responsible for establishing public health rapid response teams for infectious disease outbreaks. She was previously employed by Imperial College London in the MRC Center for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling where she worked closely with WHO on influenza, yellow fever, meningitis, MERS-CoV and Ebola Virus Disease.