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Cristina Calvo (Hospital Universitario La Paz) Rosalind Eggo (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine) Bart L. Haagmans (Erasmus Medical Center) Erika Pastrana (Nature Research)

Emerging infectious diseases. Learning from COVID-19 to prevent future pandemics

Life and Matter Sciences Jornada online Thursday, 11 February 2021, 19:00 hours ONLINE

General information:


You can access the video of this activity through: our Youtube channel and our television channel

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces

In cooperation with:

Springer Nature

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The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic in March 2020. Although COVID-19´s devastating effect may lead us to think that it is an isolated and unique tragedy, the prevalence of infectious diseases increases the risk that we will face a similar event in the near future. Over the past few decades, we have seen diseases caused by animal viruses jump to the human species, most recently SARS-COV2, the virus responsible for VID-19.  The risk that similar pathogens, currently only in animals, will infect the human species in the future is very high.

Since the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in December 2019, medical and biological research has focused on studying the virus and the disease it causes. The accelerated development of treatments, vaccines and changes in human and social behaviour have helped to reduce the number of people affected and deaths caused by this virus.

In this Conference, advances on our understanding of how SARS-COV2 causes the disease and its current treatment will be covered. Epidemiological features that were determinant for COVID-19 to become a universal pandemic and lessons learnt from the current pandemic that will help us prevent infectious diseases from becoming future pandemics will be discussed.

Thursday, 11 February

19:00 h.

Jornada online

Emerging infectious diseases. Learning from COVID-19 to prevent

future pandemics


Federico Mayor Zaragoza   
Chairman of the Scientific Council of Fundación Ramón Areces, Madrid.

Soledad Santos Suárez   
Editorial Director for Spain and Portugal, Springer Healthcare, a Springer Nature Business.



Erika Pastrana   
Executive Editor, Nature Research, New York, USA.



The SARS-CoV2 virus and its pathogenesis compared to the SARS and MERS coronaviruses

Bart L. Haagmans    
Viroscience department. Erasmus Medical Center. Rotterdam. The Netherlands.


Clinical perspective: The pandemic of COVID19 in children

Cristina Calvo    
Head of Pediatric, Infectious and Tropical Diseases Section. La Paz University Hospital. Madrid.


Epidemiology of COVID19, will we know how to control SARS-CoV2?

Rosalind Eggo    
Associate Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling. London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. London. United Kingdom.


  Cristina Calvo

Cristina Calvo received her degree in medicine by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, where she also obtained her PhD. As a clinician, she has worked at all healthcare levels from the primary care setting to specialist care in the Hospital setting. She combines her clinical work with research on viral infections always focusing on Infectious Diseases in Pediatrics. Specifically, her group studies the acute respiratory infections of the lower respiratory tract, that causes at least 4 million deaths annually worldwide; these infections are usually of viral etiology, particularly in children. Her group also studies children's immune response to viral infections, and the mechanisms that allow recurrent wheezing or asthma to develop. Thanks to their expertise in emerging viral infections, her group has worked closely with the National Center for Virology (ISCIII) to study SARS-CoV-2 infections. Their results on severity and incidence of SARS-COV2 in children have been instrumental to elucidate the COVID19 epidemic in Spain. Cristina Calvo is the representative of the Spanish Society of Pediatrics for the SARS-COV2 pandemic for the Ministry of Health.


   Rosalind Eggo

Rosalind Eggo works on computational models of infectious diseases from an epidemiology and public health point of view. She got her PhD in infectious disease modelling from the Imperial College London and worked at the University of Texas at Austin, before joining the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 2015.

Her research focuses on the role of population heterogeneity in epidemics, and on vaccination planning and evaluation during epidemics. Her group has studied the theoretical aspects of disease transmission and control of several viruses such as influenza, other respiratory viruses, Ebola, and zika. From the study of how infectious diseases spread among different population groups, his group can design efficient vaccination deployment to mitigate outbreaks and epidemics. They have studied Ebola virus transmission by examining recent outbreaks in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo and have proposed models for determining optimal vaccination schedules and evaluating new vaccines in the event of new outbreaks. Their work during the SARS-COV2 pandemic has helped to better understand the patterns of virus spread by studying population movements both in the United Kingdom and in other countries.


  Bart L. Haagmans

Bart Haagmans is a workgroup leader at the department of Viroscience of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.  He did his training at the Utrecht University and holds a PhD from the same university. His research line focusses on the pathogenesis of viral infections and especially those viruses that emerge through zoonotic transmission, including SARS-CoV-2. His research developments bring together work performed earlier at the Veterinary faculty in Utrecht and more recent research on human coronaviruses in Rotterdam. Over the last several years, they have characterized the genome of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, identified the receptor used by this virus and contributed to the identification of the dromedary camel as the reservoir species. They have tested a vaccine candidate that reduces the transmission of MERS-CoV by vaccinating dromedary camels. Recently, they expanded our research to include studies on the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 using organoids and animal models. In addition, they have worked with several research groups to test human monoclonal antibodies blocking SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccine candidates.


   Erika Pastrana

Erika Pastrana began her editorial career in 2010 as an editor at Nature Methods, where she was in charge of the neurosciences area, moving in March 2014 to Nature Communications journal as Team Manager. Since April 2017, she has been working as Executive Editor within the Nature Research Journals division. Erika received her PhD in Neuroscience from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, where she investigated the mechanisms that promote axonal regeneration in animal models of nervous system. After receiving her PhD, Erika carried out her post-doctoral research at Columbia University in New York, studying neurogenesis and the mechanisms of neuronal lineage progression in adult mice. 


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