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Indian epidemiologist in advisory group for the origin of pathogens like covid

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Geneva:

Raman Gangakhedkar, a leading Indian epidemiologist, has been named to an expert group launched by the WHO to investigate and re-emerge pandemic and pandemic potential, including SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Will investigate the origin of emerging pathogens. 19.

Gangakhedkar, former head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr CG Pandit is the national president at ICMR.

The World Health Organization on Wednesday announced the proposed members of the WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).

SAGO will advise WHO on the development of a global framework to define and guide studies into the origins of emerging and re-emerging pathogens of pandemic and pandemic potential, including SARS-CoV-2.

The Global Health Organization said that after careful consideration of all applications submitted to the WHO, 26 scientists from multiple countries were selected and their names proposed for membership of the WHO Scientific Advisory Group for the Origin of Novel Pathogens (SAGO). were done.

Members are to serve in their individual capacities to represent a wide range of topics relevant to emerging and re-emerging pathogens.

“The emergence of new viruses with the potential to spread epidemics and pandemics is a fact of nature, and while SARS-CoV-2 is the latest virus of its kind, it will not be the last,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of WHO-Common.

“Understanding where new pathogens come from is essential to preventing future outbreaks of epidemics and the potential for pandemics, and this requires a wide range of expertise. We have selected experts for SAGO from around the world. Very pleased with the capability, and look forward to working with them to make the world safer.”

Gangakhedkar became the face of ICMR during a government briefing to the media on the coronavirus pandemic. He retired in June last year as the head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at the apex health research body.

He represented ICMR at national press briefings and updated journalists on research developments related to COVID-19 in India by breaking down complex scientific data to make them easier to understand for the general public.

Gangakhedkar also played an important role in research on HIV/AIDS and contributed significantly to the development of national policies and patient empowerment. Before moving to the ICMR Headquarters in Delhi, he was the Director-in-Charge of the National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), Pune.

During his nearly four-year stint with the ICMR, he was instrumental in formulation of policies to deal with the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala in 2018 and the recent COVID-19 pandemic. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2020 for his service and his research on HIV/AIDS.

Selected from over 700 applications, 26 proposed SAGO members have a wide range of expertise in epidemiology, animal health, ecology, clinical medicine, virology, genomics, molecular epidemiology, molecular biology, biology, food safety, biosafety, biosafety He has expertise in many areas including. and public health. The composition of the SAGO reflects geographic and gender diversity, the WHO said.

Members are to serve in their individual capacities to represent a wide range of topics relevant to emerging and re-emerging pathogens.

In accordance with WHO procedures, there will now be a two-week public consultation period for WHO to receive feedback on the proposed SAGO members and to determine the modalities for the first SAGO meeting, which is planned to take place after this consultation. Period.

Members include Dr. Inger Damon, Director of the Department of High Outcome Pathogens and Pathology at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Stuart Blacksell, Professor of Tropical Microbiology in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford, Deputy Director for Research in Pasteur in Russia. Dr Vladimir Dedkov, Research Director of the Environmental and Infectious Risk Unit at the Institute, as well as the Head of the Emergency Biological Intervention Unit at the Institut Pasteur in France, Dr. Jean-Claude Manuguera.

Other members include Dr. Yungui Yang, Deputy Director at the Beijing Institute of Genomics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in China, Professor of the Zoonotic Arbovirus and Respiratory Virus Research Program, Viral Zoonose Center, Department of Medical Virology at the University of Pretoria. South Africa Dr Maritji Venter and Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, as well as a Visiting Professor in the Research Department of Infection and Population Health at the University College of London, Dr. John Watson.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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