EPIC Conference 1st March 2022: Catch-up

Outbreak and Pandemic Preparedness: bridging the gap between animal and human health

1 March 2022, Edinburgh, Scotland and on-line 

It’s been an extraordinary two years for scientists working in both animal and public health. While the COVID-19 Pandemic remains a global challenge, diseases such as Avian Influenza and African Swine Fever also continue to pose a real threat to livestock, food supplies, the economy and trade at a global level.
EPIC’s 2022 conference first took stock of the centre’s multidisciplinary research over the past six year term as well as our key achievements as the Scottish Government’s scientific advisors on animal disease outbreaks.
Then, while reflecting on our experts’ transferrable skills deployed to help in the COVID-19 crisis, speakers also debated the lessons learned and considered the concept of a One Health approach to planetary health threats.
Finally, we looked forward to our next EPIC programme, discussing how to implement an integrated approach where solutions are based on the connections between humans, animals and the environment.
Could more cross-sectoral collaboration be crucial to the prevention of future pandemics?
Catch up on a day of debate, diversity, and a determination to share discoveries and build on our scientific expertise.

Session 1: Taking Stock of Epic Achievements.

Professor Dominic Mellor EPIC and University of Glasgow

Keynote: 'Getting Here’ EPIC 3 Director, Professor Dominic Mellor

EPIC Lightning Talks from EPIC's six institutions:

Data & Data Science – Dr Julie Stirling, SRUC

Pathogen Biology & Epidemiology – Dr Clare Hamilton, Moredun Research Institute

Animal Movement Analysis – Dr Theo Pepler, University of Glasgow

Social/Behavioural Science & Economics – Dr Lee-Ann Sutherland, The James Hutton Institute

Modelling Animal Disease – Dr Stephen Catterall, BioSS

Science/Policy Knowledge Exchange – Dr Amy Jennings, University of Edinburgh

Session 2: One Health Challenges: Responding to Animal Disease Outbreaks During a Public Health Pandemic. 

Dr Iain McKendrick – EPIC and Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS)

Keynote: Addressing avian influenza and other health hazards in poultry production according to the One Health approach - Thijs Kuiken, Professor of Comparative Pathology at Erasmus MC

Phylodynamic modelling applications - AI and COVID-19. Transferrable ‘One Health’ approaches - Dr Samantha Lycett, The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh

Lessons from Covid-19 - Dr Iain McKendrick, BioSS

Session 3 EPIC Future

Professor Lisa Boden – EPIC and University of Edinburgh

Launch of EPIC IV - Professor Lisa Boden – EPIC and University of Edinburgh 

Panel discussion around EPIC’s six challenges. Panellists explored EPIC’s strategy and culture, and the relevance of the centre of expertise in future outbreak preparedness.   

Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland - Sheila Voas
C1 Risk Communication And Outbreak Management – Prof. Lisa Boden
C2 Early Warning Systems for Zoonotic and Animal Disease Threats – Dr Samantha Lycett
C3 Response to Endemic Zoonotic and Animal Disease Risks - Prof. George Gunn
C4 Exotic Zoonotic and Animal Disease Outbreak Preparedness – Dr Giles Innocent
C5 Animal Health And Global Sustainability (AMR/ Climate Change/Brexit) - Prof. Andrew Barnes
C6 Data Management/Data Science Hub - Dr Iain McKendrick


Preparing for African swine fever incursion in Scotland: risk-based licensing for live pig movement

Andrew Bremang, Harriet Auty & Lisa Boden

Understanding attitudes to biosecurity in small-scale pig keepers

Carol Kyle, Lee-Ann Sutherland, Thibaud Porphyre

Scotland’s Veterinary Surveillance Intelligence Unit

John Berezowski, George Gunn, George Caldow, Franz Brulisauer, David Gibson & Sue Tongue

Potential for indirect introduction of bluetongue to Scotland

Paul Bessell

Animal health economics incentives and behaviours, costs and simulations

Luiza Toma, Alyson Barratt, Jiayi Liu, Andrew Barnes, Irmelin Helgesen & Karl Rich

Rapid Modelling of the Pandemic: The COVID-19 Contact-Tracing Model

Sibylle Mohr, Louise Matthews, Sam Brett, Vino Mano & John Nonweiler

Inference tools for infectious diseases

Chris Pooley, Andrea Doeschl-Wilson & Glenn Marion

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