Planning Session to Defend Against the Zika Virus

By Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D.

As an elected fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, last month, I was chosen as 1 of 15 people to attend the Global Research Collaborative for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R) in Washington, DC. GloPID-R is a network of research funding organizations in the area of infectious-disease preparedness. By pooling research funding organizations on a global scale, they can facilitate an effective research response within 48 hours of a significant outbreak of a new or remerging infectious disease with pandemic potential. The high-level discussion session was led by Line Mathiessen of GloPID-R and Nicole Lurie, M.D., MSPH, the US Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. My role on the discussion panel was to provide recommendations on mapping out a global plan to deal with the Zika virus running rampant in South America and Latin America. I found the planning session challenging and look forward to further discussions.