From emerging diseases response to prevention: is it possible?

The impact of human presence of the planet is leading to pressure on ecosystems with consequences for the interaction between humans and animals and increased risk of spillover of disease-causing pathogens. Recent examples of large outbreaks, including the COVID-19 pandemic, show the consequences of successful spillovers in our modern, highly connected society. Curbing outbreaks requires as early as possible detection, to allow time for response before outbreaks have spun out of control. I will discuss the drivers of this process, and the exploration of novel concepts for early warning surveillance.

Prof. Marion Koopmans is director of the Department of Viroscience at Erasmus Medical Centre in The Netherlands, the WHO collaborating centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, scientific director for Emerging Infectious Diseases of the Netherlands Centre for One Health NCOH and scientific director of the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Centre in Rotterdam/Delft The Netherlands.
Her research focuses on emerging infections with special emphasis on unravelling pathways of disease emergence and spread at the human animal interface. Creating global networks to fight infectious diseases systematically and on a large scale is a common thread in Koopmans' work.
Koopmans coordinates the EU funded consortium VEO, which develops a risk based innovative early warning surveillance in a One Health context, and is deputy coordinator of a recently awarded HERA funded network of centres of excellence for EID research preparedness. In 2021, Koopmans founded the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Centre PDPC, a research centre with a focus on the occurrence and prevention of pandemics and climate‐related disasters, combining expertise from technical, bio‐medical, environmental and social sciences. During the corona crisis in the Netherlands in 2020, Koopmans was a member of the Outbreak Management Team that advised the national government on measures to stop the spread of SARS‐CoV‐2. This role brought her national prominence, making her partly a "beacon of reliability" but she also faced growing distrust from a vocal minority of opponents of the Dutch national government's corona policy. Prof. Koopmans is also a sought‐after speaker in the media (inter)nationally. Some examples of international media appearances include the Economist's Podcast (, Al Jazeera and BBC. In 2022, her son, Mischa Huijsmans wrote the biography "Marion Koopmans, Virologist in a Changing World" with his mother. Koopmans has co‐authored more than 700 articles that have been cited more than 40,000 times.

Begrüßung: Dr. Christian Suhm, Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald
Einführung: Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Thomas Mettenleiter, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut
Moderation: Professorin Dr. Christa Kühn, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut

Zurück zur Mediathek