Infectious disease: are we in control?

This lecture is hosted by the Oxford Martin School and the Oxford Martin Programme on Vaccines

In 1967, following an extended period of spectacular success and optimism in the Pharmacuticals industry that had seen the discovery of a wide range of new antibiotics and the development of effective vaccines against many childhood infections, the United States Surgeon General Dr William H. Stewart captured the mood of the time with his now infamous words “It is time to close the book on infectious diseases, and declare the war against pestilence won”.

Unfortunately, recent years have witnessed the emergence of HIV as a worldwide pandemic, the spread of antibiotic resistance at an alarming rate particularly in hospital acquired bacterial infections, and the spread, emergence and re-emergence of diseases such as HCV, SARS, MERS, and Ebola. Pandemic influenza still tops the UK’s National Risk Register because of the social and economic disruption that could result.

In this lecture Professor Jeffrey Almond will survey current threats to the human population from existing and emerging infectious diseases and assess what new options and strategies for control are being provided by the ongoing Biotechnology revolution. We now recognise that microbes can rapidly evolve elaborate escape and decoy mechanisms against the interventions we have available. Can the innovative application of Biomedical Sciences allow us to keep the upper hand?

There will be a drinks reception after the lecture, all welcome

This event will be live streamed here: