The Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University, directed by Dr. Rebecca Katz, was formally established in September 2016. The Center’s multi-disciplinary team develops evidence for action, providing decision makers with the tools they need for sustainable capacity building to prevent, detect and respond to public health emergencies. The team incorporates expertise in epidemiology, microbiology, virology, animal and human health systems, demography, economics, finance, statistics, and law.

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Julie Fischer contributed to a report published in Emerging Infectious Diseases on a strategic multilateral dialogue on biosecurity. The dialogue was established in 2014 – that now includes participants from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and the United States – was initiated to engage high-level current and former government officials and nongovernmental experts and stakeholders in candid discussions about the priorities, challenges, and developments related to biosecurity risks in Southeast Asia.

Read the full report: Southeast Asia Strategic Multilateral Dialogue on Biosecurity


In the wake of the 2014–2016, West Africa Ebola outbreak, the Government of Guinea recognized an opportunity to strengthen its national laboratory system, incorporating capacity and investments developed during the response. In the aftermath of this health emergency, we collaborated with Guinean health professionals and experts at the U.S. CDC to build sustainable health systems capacity. Claire Standley, Julie Fischer, and Erin Sorrell recently published a paper describing the successful execution of the project, highlighting the opportunities and challenges of building sustainable health systems capacity during and after public health emergencies, and providing lessons learned for strengthening national capabilities for surveillance and disease diagnosis.

Read the paper here: Creating a National Specimen Referral System in Guinea: Lessons From Initial Development and Implementation


The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo prompted World Health Organization DG Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to reconvene an 11-member panel of experts to consider if the WHO should declare the situation a public health emergency of international concern.  At the recommendation of the panel, Tedros announced that the situation did not warrant such a declaration. Rebecca Katz and Alex Phelan were interviewed by several media outlets looking for comment including:

BBC – Ebola outbreak 'not global emergency yet'

AP – UN says Congo’s Ebola outbreak not yet a global emergency

Reuters: Ebola spread concentrated in Congo, not a wider emergency: WHO

Axios: WHO stops short of declaring health emergency over DRC Ebola outbreak


Guangdong, which stands at the frontier of emerging infections, has developed an innovative system approach to this threat. The province of 110 million inhabitants, a major hub for domestic and international trade, includes mega-cities side-by-side with small-scale agricultural areas in a region from which recent strains of influenza and other respiratory viruses have emerged. In this paper, published in the Journal of Global Health ReportsMichael StotoMatt BoyceRebecca Katz, and colleagues use H7N9 influenza as a case study to illustrate how Guangdong’s surveillance system functions.

Read the article here: At the frontier of the global battle against emerging infections: surveillance and management of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Guangdong Province, China.


Despite the importance of community health workers (CHWs) to health systems in resource-constrained environments, relatively little has been written about their contributions to pandemic preparedness. In this perspective piece, Matt Boyce and Rebecca Katz draw from the response to the 2014 Ebola and 2015 Zika epidemics to review examples whereby CHWs contributed to health security and pandemic preparedness.

Read the paper here: Community Health Workers and Pandemic Preparedness: Current and Prospective Roles



Erin Sorrell and Ellen Carlin are guest editors for a Special Issue on Zoonoses and One Health in the Journal of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. This Special Issue will focus on advancements in zoonotic disease detection, transmission, epidemiology and host-pathogen interactions to emphasize research and capacity building among veterinary and public health scientists. In addition, this issue will also highlight One Health research, discussing the successes and challenges of working towards a One Health approach for infectious disease detection, prevention and response.

Please click review the call for papers and submit by the 1 August 2019 deadline.

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