Tag Archives: Next Generation

Novel gene-editing strategy harnesses an unusual protective ability to eliminate HIV-1 infection

Genetic alterations that give rise to a rare, fatal disorder known as MOGS-CDG paradoxically also protect cells against infection by viruses. Now, scientists at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University have harnessed this unusual protective ability in a novel gene-editing strategy aimed at eliminating HIV-1 infection with no adverse effects on cell mortality.

The new approach, described online April 28 in the journal Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids, is based on a combination of two gene-editing constructs, one that targets HIV-1 DNA and one that targets a gene called MOGS – defects in which cause MOGS-CDG. In cells from persons infected with HIV-1, the Temple researchers show that disrupting the virus’s DNA while also deliberately altering MOGS blocks the production of infectious HIV-1 particles. The discovery opens up new avenues in the development of a cure for HIV/AIDS.

Proper MOGS function is essential for glycosylation, a process by which some cellular proteins synthesized in the body are modified to make them stable and functional. Glycosylation, however, is leveraged by certain kinds of infectious viruses. In particular, viruses like HIV, influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and hepatitis C, which are surrounded by a viral envelope, rely on glycosylated proteins to enter host cells.

In the new study, lead investigators Kamel Khalili, PhD, Laura H. Carnell Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Inflammation, Director of the Center for Neurovirology and Gene Editing, and Director of the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, and Rafal Kaminski, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Center for Neurovirology and Gene Editing at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine designed a genetic approach to exclusively turn on CRISPR to impede MOGS gene expression through DNA editing within immune cells that harbor replication competent, HIV-1. Their novel approach is expected to avoid any impact on the health of uninfected cells that retain normal MOGS gene function. Stimulation of the apparatus in HIV-1 infected cells disrupted the glycan structure of the HIV-1 envelope protein, culminating in the production of non-infectious virus particles.

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“This approach is conceptually very interesting,” said Dr. Khalili, who is also senior investigator on the new study. “By mitigating the ability of the virus to enter cells, which requires glycosylation, MOGS may offer another target, in addition to the integrated viral DNA for developing the next generation of CRISPR gene-editing technology for HIV elimination.”

Dr. Kaminski, Dr. Khalili, and Tricia H. Burdo, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Inflammation and the Center for Neurovirology and Gene Editing at Temple and an expert in the use of non-human primate models for HIV-1, have been working together to further assess the efficacy and safety of CRISPR-MOGS strategy in preclinical studies. In previous work, the team demonstrated that CRISPR-based technology can successfully remove viral DNA from the cells of infected non-human primates.

Other researchers who contributed to the study include Hong Liu, Chen Chen, Shuren Liao, and Shohreh Amini, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Inflammation, Center for Neurovirology and Gene Editing, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University; Danielle K. Sohaii, Conrad R.Y. Cruz, and Catherine M. Bollard, Center for Cancer and Immunology Research, Children’s National Health System, The George Washington University; Thomas J. Cradick and Jennifer Gordon, Excision Biotherapeutics, San Francisco, CA; Anand Mehta, Stephane Grauzam, and James Dressman, Department of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology, Medical University of South Carolina; and Carlos Barrero and Magda Florez, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Temple University.

The research was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust.

Journal reference:

Liu, H., et al. (2023) Strategic Self-Limiting Production of Infectious HIV Particles by CRISPR in Permissive Cells. Molecular Therapy — Nucleic Acids. doi.org/10.1016/j.omtn.2023.04.027.

New discoveries made regarding autism onset in mouse models

Although autism is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, the multiple factors behind its onset are still not fully understood. Animal models of idiopathic autism, especially mice, are often used to help researchers understand the complicated mechanisms behind the disorder, with BTBR/J being the most commonly used mouse model in the world.

Now, an international research collaboration including Kobe University’s Professor TAKUMI Toru and Researcher Chia-wen Lin et al. have made new discoveries regarding autism onset in mouse models.

In their detailed series of experiments and analyses of BTBR/J mice and the other subspecies BTBR/R, they revealed that endogenous retrovirus activation increases a fetus’s susceptibility to autism. They also discovered that BTBR/R exhibits autistic-like behaviors without reduced learning ability, making it a more accurate model of autism than the widely-used BTBR/J model.

It is hoped that further research will contribute towards better classification of autism types, as well as the creation of new treatment strategies for neurodevelopmental disorders.

These research results were published in Molecular Psychiatry on March 7, 2023

Main points

  • The researchers analyzed BTBR/J, a widely used mouse model of autism, and its subspecies BTBR/Rusing MRI. This revealed that the corpus callosum, which connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain, was impaired in BTBR/J mice but not in BTBR/R mice.
  • Genome and transcription analysis showed that BTBR mice have increased levels of endogenous retrovirus genes.
  • Furthermore, single-cell RNA analysis of BTBR/R mice revealed changes in the expression of various genes (including stress response genes) that are indicative of endogenous retrovirus activation.
  • Even though BTBR/J and BTBR/R mice have the same ancestry, the results of various behavioral analysis experiments revealed differences in spatial learning ability and other behaviors between the two types of model mice.

Research background

Autism (autism spectrum disorder) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that remains largely unexplored despite the rapidly increasing number of patients. Reasons for this continuing increase in people diagnosed with autism include changes to diagnostic criteria and older fathers becoming more common. Autism is strongly related to genetic factors and can be caused by abnormalities in DNA structure, such as copy number variations. Animal models, especially mice, are often used in research to illuminate the pathology of autism. Among these models, BTBR/J is a mouse model of the natural onset of autism that is commonly used. Studies have reported various abnormalities in BTBR/J mice including impairment of the corpus callosum (which connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain) and excessive immune system signaling. However, it is not fully understood why this particular lineage displays autistic-like behavioral abnormalities.

The aim of the current study was to shed light on the onset mechanism of these autistic-like behavioral abnormalities by conducting comparative analysis on BTBR/J and its subspecies BTBR/R.

Research findings

First of all, the researchers conducted MRI scans on BTBR/J and BTBR/R mice to investigate structural differences in each region of the brain. The results revealed that there were differences between BTBR/J and BTBR/R mice in 33 regions including the amygdala. A particularly prominent difference discovered was that even though BTBR/J’s corpus callosum is impaired, BTBR/R’s is normal.

Next, the research group used the array CGH method to compare BTBR/R’s copy number variations with that of a normal mouse model (B6). They revealed that BTBR/R mice had significantly increased levels of endogenous retroviruses (ERV) in comparison to B6 mice. Furthermore, qRT-PCR tests revealed that these retroviruses were activated in BTBR/R mice. On the other hand, in B6 mice there was no change in the expression of LINE ERV (which is classified in the same repetitive sequence), indicating that this retroviral activation is specific to BTBR.

Subsequently, the researchers carried out single-cell RNA analysis on the tissue of embryonic BTBR mice (on the AGM and yolk sac). The results provide evidence of ERV activation in BTBR mice, as expression changes were observed in a group of genes downstream of ERV.

Lastly, the researchers comprehensively investigated the differences between BTBR/J and BTBR/R on a behavioral level. BTBR/R mice were less anxious than BTBR/J and showed qualitative changes in ultrasound vocalizations, which are measured as a way to assess communicative ability in mice. BTBR/R mice also exhibited more self-grooming behaviors and buried more marbles in the marble burying test. These two tests were designed to detect repetitive behavioral abnormalities in autistic individuals. From the results, it was clear that BTBR/R exhibits more repetitive behaviors (i.e. it is more symptomatic) than BTBR/J. The 3-chamber social interaction test, which measures how closely a mouse will approach another mouse, also revealed more pronounced social deficits in BTBR/R than BTBR/J mice (Figure 4i). In addition, a Barnes maze was used to conduct a spatial learning test, in which BTBR/J mice exhibited reduced learning ability compared to B6 (normal mice). BTBR/R mice, on the other hand, exhibited similar ability to B6.

Overall, the study revealed that retrovirus activation causes the copy number variants in BTBR mice to increase, which leads to the differences in behavior and brain structure seen in BTBR/J and BTBR/R mice (Figure 5).

Further developments

BTBR/J mice are widely used by researchers as a mouse model of autism. However, the results of this study highlight the usefulness of the other lineage of BTBR/R mice because they exhibit autistic-like behavior without compromised spatial learning ability. The results also suggest that it may be possible to develop new treatments for autism that suppress ERV activation. Furthermore, it is necessary to classify autism subtypes according to their onset mechanism, which is a vital first step towards opening up new avenues of treatment for autism.

Journal reference:

Lin, C-W., et al. (2023) An old model with new insights: endogenous retroviruses drive the evolvement toward ASD susceptibility and hijack transcription machinery during development. Molecular Psychiatry. doi.org/10.1038/s41380-023-01999-z.

$2.5 million CDC contract to fund one of the largest SARS-CoV-2 surveillance programs in the U.S.

A team led by Scripps Research scientists has been awarded a contract by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in support of one of the largest SARS-CoV-2 surveillance programs in the United States.

The two-year, $2.5 million contract will fund the large-scale, near real-time sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 isolates from hospitals and local public health agencies in San Diego and nearby northwestern Mexico, and the development of software for tracking the evolution and geographical spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants.

The contract, an extension of one originally awarded in 2020, will be carried out by the San Diego Epidemiology and Research for COVID Health (SEARCH) Alliance, which was co-founded by Scripps Research, the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego), and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.

CDC’s support for SEARCH’s genomic surveillance program has already led to significant COVID-19 public health advances as well as new science on SARS-CoV-2, and we expect much more progress in both areas as a result of this new award.”

Kristian Andersen, PhD, Principal Investigator, Professor, Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research

Since the start of the pandemic, SEARCH has been conducting genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 using clinical samples collected at San Diego hospitals and from sources across the border in Baja California. SEARCH has also developed key protocols and analysis tools to track the emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants in wastewater. Moreover, SEARCH investigators are actively involved in understanding the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, and in several high-profile publications have found evidence for an initial spread from animals sold at the Huanan Market in Wuhan, China.

SEARCH’s efforts involve multiple collaborations, including with the CDC, San Diego County’s Health & Human Services Agency, the California Department of Public Health, Sharp Health, Scripps Health, the viral surveillance company Helix, and the Salud Digna healthcare network in Mexico. Since the start of the pandemic, these efforts have yielded publications and analyses of more than 70,000 SARS-CoV-2 sequences.

Under the new contract, SEARCH will accelerate its virus-sequencing workflow to produce more timely and actionable information on local virus spread and evolution-;including the emergence of new variants and subvariants of concern.

“The current process of sampling, sequencing and analyzing a batch of virus samples from local hospital cases and wastewater treatment plants can take several weeks,” says Mark Zeller, PhD, project scientist in the Andersen lab. “We’re aiming to get that down to a matter of days, which would enable us to monitor the transmission chains in local outbreaks in near real-time.”

Working with the County of San Diego, the state of California and Mexican public health labs, the researchers will also continue to analyze the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 across the busy California-Baja border. Additionally, they’ll expand their genomic surveillance efforts to additional Mexican border states and popular tourist destinations, including Puerto Vallarta. The team will continue to post their analyses on SEARCH’s online dashboards.

The project includes the further development of open-source software tools to support the tracking of local SARS-CoV-2 evolution and transmission.

“The tools we’ve developed in recent years are already being used widely by the public health community for SARS-CoV-2 sequencing and analysis,” says Joshua Levy, PhD, postdoctoral research associate in the Andersen lab. “Under this new contract, we will be developing the technology to permanently transform how genomic surveillance will be used to strengthen our public health response.”

These open-source software tools are available at https://andersen-lab.com/secrets/code/. The SEARCH Alliance’s SARS-CoV-2 surveillance dashboards are at https://searchcovid.info/Dashboards/.

Independent Task Force report outlines a One Health approach to address risk factors for future pandemics

The Independent Task Force on COVID-19 and other Pandemics (www.independentcovidtaskforce.org) announced that their report “Pandemic Origins and a One Health Approach to Preparedness and Prevention: Solutions Based on SARS-CoV-2 and Other RNA Viruses” has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2202871119).

Independent Task Force chair, Dr. Gerald T. Keusch of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory and Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research at Boston University said that “The world has largely failed to meet the challenge to be better prepared to prevent or respond adequately enough to the next pandemic, whatever the etiology. Our Task Force believes that the best way to address risk factors for future pandemics is a One Health approach that balances and optimizes the health of people, animals, and ecosystems.”

The Independent Task Force focused on scientific findings before and during the pandemic, and a historical review of multiple previous RNA virus outbreaks to identify critical intervention points to interrupt zoonotic transmission and translates this knowledge into recommendations based on a One Health approach to prevent or mitigate an outbreak, and if necessary, to respond rapidly to prevent epidemic or pandemic spread.

Background of the Task Force

The emergence of animal-origin (zoonotic) RNA viruses like SARS-CoV-2, whether from wildlife, livestock, or domestic animals, is an urgent and growing threat to public health. Understanding how SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA virus outbreaks originate can guide how we can more effectively prevent, mitigate, or respond to future emerging infectious diseases (EIDs). Increasing outbreaks in recent decades have been driven by many factors, including human and livestock population growth coupled with expanding human-animal-environment interfaces, changing patterns of land use, climate change, globalized travel, and trade. These outbreaks have common characteristics, including zoonotic spillover from an animal reservoir host to humans, with or without involvement of another animal transmission host. These events highlight the importance of a One Health approach to design relevant, feasible, and implementable solutions to prevent, mitigate, and respond rapidly to future outbreaks.

The Independent Task Force is a group of internationally renowned scientists with diverse disciplinary expertise in human, animal, and public health, virology, epidemiology, wildlife biology, ecology, and EIDs. Twelve members were convened in June 2020 as a Task Force within the Lancet COVID-19 Commission. In November 2021 with the addition of 2 new expert members, they formed the Independent Task Force to assess available evidence on what drove the origins and early spread of COVID-19 and provide evidence-based recommendations to reduce the impact of and improve responses to outbreaks. A critical review of the literature, interviews with other scientists, and extensive discussions culminated in the present PNAS report.

Key findings

The Independent Task Force Report shows that:

  • Animal RNA viruses, including coronaviruses, have a long history of crossing species barriers to humans. The report provides a historic timeline of estimated origin dates for major coronavirus outbreaks affecting people or livestock and highlights coronaviruses that represent a growing risk to both human and animal health.
  • The risk of pandemics emerging increases when people and animals interact closely in new settings driven by land use and climate change, environmental degradation, the wildlife trade, population growth, and economic pressure. Evidence indicates that most new zoonotic outbreaks have wildlife or livestock origins. The report provides recommendations that target high-risk animal-human interfaces to prevent or mitigate the risk of future spillovers. An important strategy is ‘Smart Surveillance’ and sampling programs which have proven helpful for disease outbreak forecasting and to guide strategies to reduce risks at the source.
  • Substantial newly published scientific evidence reviewed in the PNAS Perspective report strongly indicates that COVID-19 originated via a pathway similar to SARS-CoV, involving spillover from bats to intermediate animal hosts, then to people within the wildlife trade, leading to the first known cluster of COVID-19 in the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The Task Force finds no verifiable or credible evidence to support the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in or released from a laboratory (See Table S.6. in Supporting Information: http://www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.2202871119/-/DCSupplemental)
  • Efforts to control and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic were hindered in many countries by politics, misinformation and disinformation, and a growing anti-science/anti-vaccine movement.
  • The importance of critically evaluating the potential of a zoonotic link to wildlife is that it leads to implementable One Health-oriented changes in policy and practice that can reduce the likelihood of similar occurrences in the future. Importantly, this presents no conflict with continuous efforts to improve laboratory and field biosafety and biosecurity.


The Independent Task Force Report makes the following recommendations:

(1)Smart Surveillance” to identify high-threat potential pathogens. Targeting surveillance to people, wildlife, and domestic animals within emerging disease hot spots; improving methodologies for safe surveillance; and innovating a risk assessment framework to provide early warning of pathogens most likely to emerge. The benefits of Smart Surveillance conducted by trained personnel using rigorous protocols to maximize safety and security far outweigh risks and provide critical data for research and development of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and better early warning systems, and inform One Health strategies for prevention and response..

(2) Preparedness and translational research. Investing in R&D for innovative and broad spectrum diagnostics, antiviral and vaccine strategies for priority pathogens based on data from ‘Smart Surveillance’; streamlining approaches to build capacity for clinical trials, licensure, and manufacture of medical countermeasures; and understanding the pathogenesis of potential high-threat pathogens to guide new therapeutic strategies.

(3) Reduce the drivers for spillover risk and spread. Working with communities and countries on the frontline of disease emergence to understand epidemiological, value chain, and behavioral drivers of EID emergence; implementing risk reduction strategies; developing incentives to minimize human-wildlife contact at interfaces in rural areas and commercial markets; and strengthening awareness of the emerging disease-linked health impacts and costs of land use and climate change to provide incentives for sustainable development.

(4) Counter misinformation and disinformation about the prevention and control of emerging diseases. Interdisciplinary research on what drives the emergence, spread and public acceptance of misinformation and disinformation in order to develop robust counter-mechanisms; develop strategies to counter distrust of science and expert advice, including creating organizations to support scientists under threat arising from disinformation and politically-motivated attacks; designing and promoting programs to improve public understanding of the scientific method and where to find trusted evidence-based scientific information.

(5) Strengthen One Health governance and science. Creating an inclusive, multi-stakeholder One Health-based governance framework at local, regional, national and international levels for pandemic preparedness and response; increasing funding for cross-disciplinary, collaborative One Health research; learning from indigenous knowledge; participation of civil society and engagement of public and private sector expertise; and efforts to educate new generations concerning the scientific method and reliable sources of information.

Comments from other members of the Independent Task Force:

“Applying data from predictive programs must be coupled with government engagement and widespread education campaigns. By building a united front against misinformation and disinformation, we can equip people around the world with the tools needed effectively to protect themselves and others.”

  • Dr. Malik Peiris, School of Public Health, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

“Humans share the planet with animals and viruses, which evolve in an ever-shifting evolutionary landscape of risks. To stay ahead of the challenges posed by emerging infectious diseases like COVID-19 and to protect the human family from the next global pandemic, we need to find new frameworks for international scientific collaboration that transcend the tensions of geopolitics. Cooperation on smart surveillance is our best bet to stay one step ahead of the next virus.”

  • Dr. Peter Daszak, EcoHealth Alliance, New York, USA

“As climate change, land use patterns, and the growing wildlife trade in certain regions continue to create opportunities for zoonotic spillover of EIDs, the solutions in this report have crucial implications for the global community for years to come. We must learn from past pandemics to prepare for success in anticipating, mitigating, and responding effectively to future pandemics. “

  • Dr. Marion Koopmans, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

“The COVID-19 pandemic introduced or highlighted scientific disciplines, such as virology and epidemiology, to the broader community. Although the ‘lessons learned’ are certainly not new to scientists, it is our responsibility to ensure that these lessons and our recommendations are better understood and are more readily embraced and acted upon to protect communities, animals and ecosystems now and in the future”

  • Dr Danielle Anderson, Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne, Australia.

“COVID-19 has decisively challenged our perception and our capacity to handle threats that on top of causing the loss of human lives, represent a risk to other animal species, global economies, food security and systems, or the trust of people in science, just to name a few. We need stronger international regulatory and financial systems that, embodying a one health approach, can truly help transform the way we live and use our planet’s resources, so that we can prevent and be better prepared for threats such as SARS-CoV-2.”

– Dr Carlos G. das Neves, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Ås, Norway

“Despite advancements in biomedical science and technology over the past century, we have largely turned a blind eye to the inextricable interconnections among humans, other animals, and the shared environment. COVID-19 has taught us that failing to recognize the relevance, complexity and dynamism of the socioecological systems of planet earth not only puts the world at risk of pandemics, but limits our ability to effectively counter them. One Health approaches are therefore urgently needed in all sectors at all levels!”

– Dr. John Amuasi, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana

“This pandemic has pointed out, once again, that spread of viruses from animals in formerly isolated locales to human populations is increasingly likely as humans impinge on these environments. This report provides a One Health framework for thinking about, and responding to, these cross-over events, recognizing that people at all levels, ranging from local to international, must be involved to prevent future pandemics.”

– Dr. Stanley Perlman, University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA

“SARS-CoV-2 taught us that viruses do not respect borders, walls, demographics or politics; nor do they respect species barriers. Emerging/re-emerging RNA viruses (including coronaviruses) are a major cause of zoonoses leading to epidemics/pandemics that impact human, animal and ecosystem health. They spillover from animals to humans and spill back into animals to establish new host reservoirs of viral persistence and evolution. Our Perspective highlights One Health (animal-human-environment interconnections) strategies based on integrated cross-disciplinary, interagency, regional, national and global collaborations to survey, detect, research, respond to and stem zoonotic disease outbreaks, leading to measures to predict, prevent, mitigate and control future pandemics.”

  • Dr. Linda J Saif, The Ohio State University, Wooster, USA

“SARS-CoV-2 is not the first virus that found its way from animals to humans, and will not be the last. A lot could have been learnt from SARS-CoV-1 already decades ago, a vírus that even belongs to the same species as SARS-CoV-2, or from MERS-CoV, yet, the world was not prepared for a coronavirus pandemic. The devastating impact on human health and on our societies due the COVID-19 pandemic should be the ultimate lesson that we need to invest more in preparedness, but also prevention of novel viral spillovers.”

– Dr. Isabella Eckerle, Geneva Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases, Switzerland

“Acceptance of the underlying epidemiological drivers of disease emergence, ‘smart’ surveillance, universal diagnostic and vaccine platforms, and a genuine One Health/One World approach are fundamental to mitigating and managing future global pandemics.”

  • Dr. Hume Field, University of Queensland, Australia

List of Independent Task Force members (www.independentcovidtaskforce.org)

Dr. Gerald Keusch MD (Chair November 2021 – present) is Associate Director of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories and a core faculty member of the Center for Emerging Infectious Disease Policy and Research at Boston University, Boston Massachusetts, U.S. His research has focused on pathogenesis and control of emerging bacterial, protozoal and viral diseases through collaborative basic laboratory, field and clinical research. He is the former Director of the Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine. Contact: Rachel Lapal [email protected]

Dr. John Amuasi MBChB Ph.D. is the head of Global Health at the School of Public Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and is Group Leader of the Global Health and Infectious Diseases Research Group at the Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine, Accra Ghana and the Bernhard Nocht Institute of Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany. He has extensive experience in One Health approaches to emerging zoonotic diseases.

Dr. Danielle Anderson Ph.D. is a Research Scientist at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory at The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, Melbourne, Australia. She is a virologist investigating pathogenesis of high consequence emerging viruses. Contact: Aline Riche. Phone: +61 3 8344 1911; email: [email protected]

Dr. Peter Daszak Ph.D. (Chair July 2020 – November 2021) is the President of EcoHealth Alliance, New York, N.Y., in the U.S. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, and chairs its Forum on Microbial Threats. He is an expert in ecology, surveillance, and field research of emerging zoonotic viruses such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. Contact: [email protected]

Dr. Isabella Eckerle MD is Associate professor, physician-scientist at the Centre for Emerging Viral Diseases at the University Hospitals of Geneva. She has led extensive clinical, epidemiological, and pathogenesis research on endemic coronaviruses, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. Contact: [email protected] & [email protected]

Dr. Hume Field DVM Ph.D is Adjunct Professor in the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland, Australia and a science and policy advisor to Ecohealth Alliance. He has made expertise in field studies and surveillancey of bat-origin emerging viruses such as Hendra, Nipah, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Contact: [email protected]

Dr. Marion Koopmans DVM Ph.D. is Head of the Dept. of Viroscience, Erasmus Medical Center and Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands. Her research focus is to understand the modes of transmission of viruses among animals and between animals and humans, explore the potential of next generation sequencing techniques and other types of data on drivers for emergence for outbreak prediction, detection and tracking. She is a member of the WHO-WOAH-FAO-UNEP One Health High Level Expert Panel, and a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. Contact: [email protected]

Dr. Dato’ Sai Kit (Ken) Lam Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus at the University of Malaya, and Senior Fellow of the Malaysian Academy of Sciences. He is an expert in vector borne viral diseases such as dengue and a co-discoverer of Nipah virus in Malaysia, for which he has received the 2001 Prince Mahidol Award for Public Health in 2001 and the Merdeka Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement in 2013.

Dr. Carlos das Neves DVM Ph.D. Dipl.ECZM is the Director for Research and Internationalization at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Past President of the International Wildlife Disease Association, member of the IUCN SSC–Wildlife Health Specialist Group and Chair of the Wildlife Population Health Specialty at the European College of Zoological Medicine. He is an expert in zoonotic wildlife viral infections and One Health approaches to contain and control spillovers. We works also on the science to policy interface both in Norway and internationally. Contact: [email protected]

Dr. Malik Peiris Ph.D. FRS is the Professor of Virology at the School of Public Health, at the University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on the pathogenesis, innate immune responses, transmission, ecology and epidemiology of human and animal (poultry, swine, wild birds) influenza viruses, and emerging coronaviruses. Dr. Peiris was the first person to isolate SARS-CoV and is conducting active research on COVID-19.

Dr. Stanley Perlman MD Ph.D. is Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Professor of Pediatrics, and University of Iowa Distinguished Chair, Iowa City Iowa in the U.S. He is a physician-scientist involved in studies of the pathogenesis of respiratory coronaviruses including SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2.

Dr. Supaporn Wacharapluesadee Ph.D. is the Senior Research Scientist at the Emerging Infectious Diseases Clinical Center, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thai Red Cross Society and Chula School of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. Dr. Wachaeapluesadee’s team was the team leader for detecting the first MERS-CoV case in Thailand in 2015 and the first to positively identify a human COVID-19 infection outside of China.

Su Yadana, MPH. is a Research Scientist and Project Coordinator at EcoHealth Alliance in New York NY in the U.S., and a team member of the EcoHealth Alliance collaborative research network in Southeast Asia to study the spillover of viral pathogens from wildlife to humans. Her research interests focus on identifying risk factors for spillover of animal viruses to humans and development of evidence-based strategies to reduce these risks and improve population health. Contact: [email protected]

Dr. Linda J. Saif Ph.D. is Distinguished University Professor, Center for Food Animal Health, Departments of Animal Sciences (CFAES, OARDC) and Veterinary Preventive Medicine (CVM), Wooster Ohio, and Co-Director of the Viruses and Emerging Pathogens Program of the Infectious Diseases Institute, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A. Her expertise is in virology, pathogenesis, immunology and epidemiology of animal coronaviruses resulting in consequential animal diseases and spillovers and spillbacks between animals and humans. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Contact: Emily Caldwell, [email protected]

Journal reference:

Keusch, G.T., et al. (2022) Pandemic origins and a One Health approach to preparedness and prevention: Solutions based on SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses. PNAS. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2202871119.