A £20.5 million international programme of research and training has been launched to tackle diseases that have the capacity to transfer from animals to humans, with places for 15 students from the UK and developing countries to receive specialist training.
While the five-year Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems (ZELS) programme will be focused on Africa, south Asia and south east Asia, the work is designed to improve the global health and wellbeing of animals, humans and the environment, ultimately enhancing the lives of millions of people.
“The ZELS programme will fund world-class research projects, using expertise from the UK and international partners, to address some of the critical challenges posed by zoonotic diseases,” said the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Science Director, Dr Melanie Welham.
“Zoonoses not only threatens animal and human health, but have huge economic and social repercussions around the world. In addition, training doctoral students from the UK and developing countries will help create the skills needed for researchers to continue to tackle these damaging diseases.”
Headlined by the Medical Research Council, the programme is being funded by the BBSRC, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the Department for International Development, the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council.