Within the past several years two epidemics have rapidly spread throughout the globe causing economic looses as well as human suffering and death. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome arose in the Guangdong province in China during late 2001 and rapidly spread throughout the international community. A highly pathogenic form of Avian Influenza, H5N1, was initially recognized in 1999 and has now spread throughout Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and even Africa. While human to human transmission of this virus is rare it is thought that a mutation may lead to a highly transmissible and highly pathogenic form of influenza.
At the International Institute of Infection and Immunity we recognize the importance of focussing of emerging and re emerging infectious diseases such as SARS and Avian Influenza. We have therefore set our sites on performing basic research on viruses and how these viruses affect humans.
Our goal is to understand how viruses such as SARS, Avian Influenza and Dengue spread and cause human disease. Based on the scientific information gained from these studies we are designing novel therapeutics and vaccines to combat the spread of viral disease and alleviate symptoms and suffering in humans infected with these viruses.