Working with WHO on pandemic preparedness

03 Nov 2010 15:35:11.637

PA 294/10

Health protection experts at The University of Nottingham have been appointed official partners to The World Health Organization (WHO) on pandemic influenza and research.

The Health Protection Research Group in the School of Community Health Sciences has recently been named as a WHO Collaborating Centre. The group will provide consultative assistance on pandemic preparedness, training and educational support, evaluating the response to the 2009 pandemic (A/H1N1), strengthening future pandemic preparedness and developing public-health related research on influenza.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the Director of the Health Protection Research Group said: “Our group has been working with WHO for some time, especially the Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen; so, in day-to-day terms, its business as usual. However we do, of course, see this designation as a firm signal that our collaboration to date has worked well for WHO. So it’s a tremendous honour, and a big responsibility.

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The University of Nottingham is one of over 800 collaborating centres designated by the Director General of WHO to support the organization on areas such as nursing, occupational health, communicable disease, nutrition, mental health, chronic diseases and health technologies.

Professor Van-Tam worked closely with the Health Protection Agency and the UK Government during the 2009 pandemic. His team’s work with WHO will focus on evaluation of the preparedness activity that was done from 2005 to 2008, improving this for the future and providing further training to central Asian countries. In addition, work on a second edition of the popular textbook: Introduction to Pandemic Influenza, aimed at the non-specialist, will begin in late 2010.

The Institute of Work, Health and Organisations – which is also based within the School of Community Health Sciences – has also been working with WHO since 1994 as a Collaborating Centre in Occupational Health. The Institute’s WHO programme of work in occupational health involves managing the WHO Global Plan of Action in relation to the protection and promotion of workers’ health. A key area of research focuses on psychosocial risk management in the workplace with a special focus on work-related stress and workplace harassment and violence.

 The University of Nottingham has broad research portfolio but has also identified and badged 13 research priority groups, in which a concentration of expertise, collaboration and resources create significant critical mass. Key research areas at Nottingham include energy, drug discovery, global food security, biomedical imaging, advanced manufacturing, integrating global society, operations in a digital world, and science, technology & society.

Through these groups, Nottingham researchers will continue to make a major impact on global challenges.


Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

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Story credits

More information is available from Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, 
  Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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