Zoonoses – a deadly but fascinating link between animal health and public health 

MEMBER FEATURE

AAHL (operating since 1985 as the Australian Animal Health Laboratory)

Zoonotic diseases are any disease or infection that originates in animals and is naturally spread to humans. It is estimated that approximately 75% of new disease outbreaks affecting humans in the past decade have been caused by zoonoses. These emerging diseases pose a serious risk both to public health and the economy and look likely to continue increasing. Examples include the bat-borne viruses: SARS, MERS, Ebola virus, Hendra and Nipah viruses; and other zoonosis including Avian Influenza, Dengue and Zika viruses.

AAHL (operating since 1985 as the Australian Animal Health Laboratory) is Australia’s national biocontainment facility, owned and operated by CSIRO on behalf of the nation. The biocontainment infrastructure and scientific expertise enables AAHL to deliver a vital service to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as Australia’s Reference Laboratory for emergency animal diseases and high consequence pathogens of animal origin.

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Researchers Now in Residence

BioMedVic is excited to announce that we have three new placements, Dr Michelle Hall (The University of Melbourne), Dr Joanne Enticott (Monash University/Monash Health) and Dr Despina Ganella (The Florey), to participate in BioMedVic’s flagship Policy Skills development program, ‘Researcher In Residence’ (RiR).

The RiR program provides an opportunity for researchers from BioMedVic member organisations to be placed part-time in the Victorian office of state and federal parliamentarians and government departments.

Group

• Dr Michelle Hall, from the Centre of Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, Department of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne, has been in Canberra for the past two weeks with Senator Kim Carr, Senator for Victoria in the Australian Parliament, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research;
• Dr Joanne Enticott, from Southern Synergy, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences Monash Health and Monash University, has taken up her placement in the Office of Health and Medical Research within the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services; and
• Dr Despina Ganella, from The Florey will take up her placement with Adam Bandt MP, Member for Melbourne, Victoria in the Australian Parliament.
BioMedVic CEO, Prof Jan Tennent said, “the RiR program is a 2-way opportunity – for researchers its a chance to understand how policies and priorities are determined within the parliamentary process, while for parliamentarians its an opportunity to engage with research experts on key issues of the day. It’s about both sides of the conversation being better informed and starting to speak the same language.” BioMedVic is proud to be advancing its advocacy on behalf of members through the RiR program