London: The University of Oxford launched on Friday a new research center that will bring together academics and experts from different countries to ensure the world is better prepare to identify and tackle future pandemic threats like COVID-19.
“The recent pandemic has demonstrated the unique contributions research universities like Oxford can make to pandemic preparedness,” Louise Richardson, vice-chancellor of the birthplace of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, said in a statement.
To be located within Oxford campus, in England, the center will draw together academics and experts from across its research and innovation community, including from infectious diseases, vaccinology, immunology, structural biology, diagnostics, drug discovery, clinical trials, data science, public health, and social and political sciences.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that spectacular advances are possible through an alliance of science, the public sector and industry,” Peter Horby, who will be the inaugural director of the Pandemic Sciences Centre, said.
The university is looking to secure over 500 million pounds ($709 million) from philanthropists, corporate partners and governments for its new center, which they claimed will provide solutions for worst-case scenarios, such as a virus with a 50 percent mortality rate.