New pioneering Leibniz Lab to combat the pandemic

The loss of biodiversity and the increasing proximity between wild animals and humans favours pandemics. The protection of natural habitats and the regulation of wildlife trade help to reduce the risk of pandemics.
© Wikimedia

 

The new Leibniz Lab “Pandemic Preparedness: One Health, One Future” combines excellent inter- and transdisciplinary research from 41 Leibniz Institutes. The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB) is also contributing its expertise in biodiversity research. In the lab, pathogen-oriented sciences (virology, bacteriology, mycology and immunology) cooperate with other life sciences such as ecology, health technologies, health economics and educational research for the first time in Germany.

This new instrument of the Leibniz Association is being funded with three million euros for three years. The aim is to pool research work in these areas to prepare for, prevent and respond to future pandemics and to make the knowledge gained available to policymakers in the form of evidence-based recommendations for action.

Prof Dr Bernhard Misof, Director General of the Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB) and member of the steering committee of the Leibniz Lab Pandemic Preparedness:

“The ongoing loss of biodiversity and the increasing proximity between wild animals and humans are greatly increasing the risk of pandemics. We are actively destroying habitats through use, indirectly through our contributions to climate stabilisation and through our deliberate or accidental introduction of invasive animal and plant species. This causes dramatic changes in our environment, including the spread of new potential pathogens. Measures such as the protection of natural habitats and the regulation of wildlife trade can help to reduce the risk of pandemics. In the laboratory, we want to analyse natural reservoirs of potential pathogens and develop models of future threats and their prevention.”

Prof Dr Gülşah Gabriel, Head of the Department of Viral Zoonoses-One Health at the Leibniz Institute of Virology and spokesperson for the Leibniz Lab Pandemic Preparedness:

“In the Leibniz Lab, we will bring together expertise from the Leibniz Institutes that is unique in Germany for research into respiratory pathogens (viruses, bacteria and fungi) and their influence on the acute course of the disease as well as possible long-term consequences. This pooling of knowledge was long overdue, considering that most pandemics in the past were triggered by respiratory pathogens, especially influenza viruses.”

The LIB is also involved in another new Leibniz Lab, “Systemic Sustainability”, and aims to implement systemic solutions to the question of how we can effectively protect biodiversity and the climate while achieving resilient agriculture for food security.

Find out more: LIB involved in new Leibniz Lab “Systemic Sustainability”

 

Contact LIB at the Leibniz Lab “Pandemic Preparedness:

Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB)
Prof Dr Alexander Suh
Head of the Centre for Molecular Biodiversity Research
a.suh@leibniz-lib.de
+49 (0)228 9122 289

Contact LIB at the Leibniz Lab “Systemic Sustainability”:

Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB)
Dr Karen Meusemann
Scientific Research Officer
k.meusemann@leibniz-lib.de
+49 (0)228 9122 307

 

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