The second NCOH Annual Scientific Meeting was held in Rotterdam on 30 May 2018. The meeting was well received; over 170 individuals participated and there were over 35 presentations. Prevention and control of infectious diseases outbreaks are important societal challenges that require an integrated and balanced perspective in which human, veterinary, wildlife, and environmental elements and considerations are integrated. This One Health perspective was the overarching subject of the meeting. The program was excellent and was a good mix of key note lectures and shorts pitches by PhD students on their research topics. I am especially proud of the group of 18 Young NCOH researchers that pitched their work in 3 minutes.
There is more good news for NCOH researchers! We have initiated a first series of research trainee projects. For example, we have made a good start on the topic of ‘Metagenomics’, and eight projects have been initiated this and last year at all Partner organisations. Many of these projects involve collaborative project with several NCOH partners. The Supervisory board has made a comment that we have to accelerate our investments and the Executive Board is working hard to increase spending on our PhD program this year and early 2019. We aim at finalizing our PhD research program at the end of this year. Part of this effort is the second NCOH call for One Health research proposals ‘Complex systems’ Earlier this year, we have approached all Principle Investigators to submit prospective research topics within the ‘Complex systems’ theme. An overwhelming response was received from all Partner organisations. The Scientific Directors of all four NCOH Strategic Research Themes have combined these ideas into 5-6 overarching topics that al fall under the umbrella of ‘Complex Systems’. The NCOH Principle Investigators will be invited to form consortia on these topics with novelty and collaboration among different institutes and solution sets as primary criteria. We hope to launch the call after the summer break. We aim at opening the call for consortia in September 2018 and should be completed early December. In the meantime, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has initiated the Dutch National Research Agenda (NWA) call. Several NCOH PIs are initiating a joint application under the umbrella of the NCOH with collaboration across at least three or our One Health research themes on vector borne diseases. The Executive Board has agreed that research proposals that involve at least three of our research themes can use the NCOH name and logo. Last but not least, I would like to thank Martin Scholten (WUR) for his commitment as the Chair of the NCOH Supervisory Board during the first two years. He was very much involved since the preparatory phase of the NCOH. We would also hereby like to take the opportunity to welcome the new Chair of the Supervisory Board, Frank Miedema (UMCU). We are very pleased he has accepted the position of the chair and look forward working with him.
NCOH governance: https://ncoh.nl/about/
Sincerely, on behalf of the NCOH Executive Board, Dick Heederik, chair NCOH Executive Board
Coming five years, a large consortium of several NCOH Partners (coordinator Erasmus MC ), will investigate how the Netherlands can be better prepared for infectious diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. The multidisciplinary character of the collaboration, in which citizen science also plays a role, is unique.
The program makers of ‘De Kennis van Nu’ prepared a broadcast around mosquito research in The Netherlands. Recordings were made at the location and with researchers of several of our NCOH partners; Erasmus MC, Leiden University, RIVM and Wageningen University & Research.
Which groups are affected by certain chronic diseases, and which groups aren’t? This depends on genetics (30%) and on the exposome (70%). A consortium led by Professor Roel Vermeulen, affiliated with Utrecht University and University Medical Center Utrecht, will investigate which factors of the exposome are important for health and how these factors work.
Tropical viral diseases are on the rise worldwide. Zika, swine fly, Rift Valley fever and SARS are just a few of the many diseases threatening humans or animals. Jeroen Kortekaas, Wim van der Poel and Mart de Jong (WUR) explain the research that they do to prevent new outbreaks and epidemics.