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Coffee with Marion Koopmans

First of all, you will find a short update of the NCOH activities. Secondly, Marion Koopmans tells all about the start of the One Health PACT project.

A short update of the NCOH activities: we have just completed a well-received Science Café 2019 with over 120 participants where sir Prof. Roy Anderson – chair of the NCOH Scientific Advisory Board – provided the key note lecture on the ‘Progress, and new challenges, in the control of the Neglected Tropical Diseases’. With regard to the NCOH-LSH One Health call, the submitted applications received a scientific and societal impact review by an international scientific committee and are now with Health Holland for final decision making. Results are expected mid-December. The NWA project “One Health PACT” is currently performing a selection on the 680 applications for the 26 PhD vacancies. Note for all applicants: The project office will only contact those candidates selected for interviews. That will be end of November – beginning of December. Please do not contact the project office as selection is done by the supervisors and promotors. A new announcement will be send once all PhD tracks have been filled. And now recruiting: new PhD programme run jointly at the University of Edinburgh and LUMC on Integrated One Health Solutions. Deadline for applications 28 November 2019. We hope to see you all next year 18 May in Amsterdam for the next NCOH Annual Scientific Meeting.

The Science Café in October was well received with over 120 participants.

Start One Health PACT project: “Let’s develop an outbreak forecast tool for viruses”

Professor Marion Koopmans – Scientific Director of the NCOH theme Emerging Infectious Diseases Preparedness head of the Department of Viroscience at Erasmus MC and coordinator of the NWA project One Health PACT (previously: ‘Preparing for vector-borne virus outbreaks in a changing world: a One Health Approach): “Ultimately we want to develop a sort of “weather forecast” for the risk of outbreaks”.

“We have a name for our NWA-project! One Health PACT – short for Predicting Arboviruses Climate Tipping points. The other good news is that we have received over 680 applications for the 26 open PhD positions! As most of the applications came in at the last moment, you can imagine that our office is currently a bit busy!”

“I would also like to introduce to you, Maarten Hoek, who has been appointed last week as program manager of One Health PACT. Maybe you have already met him during the NCOH Science Café last week in Utrecht?”

Maarten Hoek: “I am looking forward to working with all partners to make this project not only a success, but also to make new friendships and create opportunities for future collaboration and spin-offs!” .

“A little bit about me; once upon a time, I was a veterinarian (UU). That fairy tale was however short lived, and I have since dedicated myself fully to (health) program development and management in various settings. One of my favorite projects thus far was the developing of pre- and post-natal health services in Ololosokwan in the Serengeti, Tanzania. A magical place under the smoke of Oldonyo Lengai (an active volcano) where the lions and hyenas roamed around the clinics at night.”

The team One Health PACT with the supervisors and promotors.

“Having spent many years abroad in various countries, it was high time for me, and my family, to come back to the Netherlands. Having moved (too) frequently, building a stable life back in the Netherlands will help my culture-confused daughters create a sense of identity and belonging. I am looking forward to get to know you all in the upcoming months!”.

Marion Koopmans: “Regarding the project: the project will officially start on 1 December, and we are now in the middle of reviewing the 680 applications. We expect that all PhD’s will be ready to start in the summer of 2020.”

“In the coming month we will start with the development of a One Health PACT-dedicated part of the NCOH website, we will create a newsletter specific for this project, start organizing the PhD science meetings, and develop a knowledge hub behind the website. And last, but not least, if you are working at one of the One Health PACT member institutions and are into designing, we hereby invite you to join the Logo Design Contest. More information will follow soon, so stay tuned!”.

Interested? See: ncoh.nl/onehealthpact or contact Maarten Hoek, project manager One Health PACT: [email protected].