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NCOH webinar ‘Viruses – Why we cannot live without them’

Date & time: 22 April 2021, 4.30 pm – 5.30 pm (CEST)
Location: Zoom (you will receive a link prior to the webinar)

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The origin of viruses and their roles in human evolution, this is the topic of the next webinar of the Netherlands Centre for One Health.

The trigger for this webinar was an article in the National Geographic written by David Quammen about how viruses shape our world. COVID-19 is a reminder of the destructive and disruptive power of viruses, but they are crucial to humans’ development and survival. We have found David willing to tell us more during the April NCOH webinar. He will be joined by Virologist Dr. Raoul de Groot (Utrecht University) who will speak about coronaviruses and aspects of viral evolution, and by Dr. Mathis Funk (Erasmus MC) who will tell us more about the impact of endogenous retroviruses and how they shaped life. For sure a webinar not to miss!

Note: this webinar will not be recorded. So this is your once in a lifetime opportunity to see David Quammen, Raoul de Groot and Mathis Funk talk together about viruses.

Our experts

  • David Quammen is an American science, nature, and travel writer and the author of fifteen (!) books. One of his books is Spillover (2014), a work on the science, history, and human impacts of emerging diseases (especially viral diseases), which was short-listed for eight national and international awards and won three (!).
  • Dr. Mathis Funk, Erasmus MC. Funk did his PhD on syncytins which are a striking and unique example of how viruses have played a major role in the evolution of mammals. He will talk about impact of endogenous retroviruses and how they shaped life.
  • Dr. Raoul de Groot, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. Virologist De Groot is researcher and lecturer on the subject of coronaviruses. He has over 35 years of experience studying coronaviruses in humans and animals such as cats, cattle and horses. He will show that viruses are excellent innovators.


The moderator of the webinar will be Maarten Hoek, Communications manager NCOH.