One Health Lab

The One Health Lab focuses on investigating prevalence, distribution, and control strategies for
priority zoonotic diseases and other health issues of multisectoral relevance in support of endemic
disease control and epidemic preparedness and response. A prominent thematic area is research into the causes of acute febrile illness, as well as developing and implementing risk reduction strategies and policies in collaboration with local,
national and regional partners.

The One Health Lab works closely with the Elizabeth R. Griffin Program on projects related to
biosafety and biosecurity implementation and capacity strengthening, through a One Health lens.

What We Do

We collaborate with surveillance, laboratory, and emergency response authorities, as well as non-governmental and academic partners, to identify and characterize zoonotic pathogens in human, non-human animal and vector

We provide leadership in strengthening health systems and health security capacities with our international partners, with a focus on LMICs

Principal Investigator

Dr. Claire Standley, Ph.D., M.Sc.
Associate Research Professor

The Team

Sumegha Asthana, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Elyse Gaertner
Ph.D. Student

Dana Hag Hamed, M.Phil., M.Sc.
Project Manager

Rouija Lin
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Lauren Miller, M.Sc.
Junior Research Scientist

Ming Ong, M.P.H.
Junior Research Scientist

Emilie Ryan-Castillo
Senior Research Associate

Brian Samuelson, M.Sc.
Research Associate

Zoumana “Isaac” Traore, M.B.A, M.Sc.
Ph.D. Student

Key Projects

“Fever Project,” Investigating Acute Febrile Illness in Guinea

The Fever Project aims to establish baseline knowledge of circulating pathogens that may impact human and animal health while also building workforce and laboratory capacity.

Taking a One Health approach, the four objectives of the project are to: (1) Identify pathogens causing AFI in humans in Guinea, (2) Identify evidence for zoonotic transmission, (3) Identify risk factors for zoonotic AFI in humans, and (4) Improve capacities for detection of high consequence pathogens. In this way, the project seeks to strengthen sustainable and integrated human and animal surveillance for endemic and epidemic-prone pathogens in Guinea.

Addressing Biorisks in sub-Saharan Africa

This project, in collaboration with Global Implementation Solutions (GIS), supports efforts to promote and build capacities in basic minimum biosafety and biosecurity protections and multisectoral emergency response capacities in East and Central Africa.

The overall project comprises of three tasks: leverage the capabilities and network of the Elizabeth R. Griffin Program (ERGP) at Georgetown to take a step-wise, risk-based and regionally integrated approach to strengthening biorisk management capabilities across the Central African region; build indigenous capacity to improve biorisk management, biosecurity, and biosafety practices in diagnostic and research laboratories and medical facilities; and enhance and promote multisectoral coordination across animal health, human health, border, and other related security sectors to mitigate biological threats.

One Health for Emergency Response in Kenya, Nigeria, and Somalia

This project supports emergency response operations in Kenya, Nigeria, and Somalia, continuing on existing collaborations that our partner, GIS, has established over the last several years. In particular, the project aims to bring One Health concepts to Emergency Operations Centers, to help advance more integrated and all hazards approaches to public health preparedness and response.

In Nigeria and Kenya, extensive prior efforts have built strong Emergency Operations Centers at the national level; but these capacities at the sub-national level are more nascent, and will be the focus of this project. In Somalia, the focus will be more on the national level, providing support to the recently established One Health coordinating body that is working across ministries to strengthen disease prevention, detection and response across the country.

One Health Biosecurity Legislative Assessments in Central Africa

Countries in Central Africa have some of the highest biodiversity in the world, and also have witnessed the emergence of a number of pathogens of global concern. While the main national laboratories have high standards of biosafety and biosecurity (including a BSL-4 facility in Gabon), and receive substantial international support, capabilities to prevent accidental or deliberate release or misuse of pathogens is not evenly distributed across the region’s many biomedical, veterinary, research and hospital laboratories.

In this project, GU and GIS will collaborate with human, animal and environmental laboratories across Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Gabon to build a network of expertise and a community of practice in biorisk management across the region. Through developing shared trainings, skill building, and communication, the network can help advance best practices in biosafety and biosecurity across the region.