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UK Chief Scientists visit The Pandemic Institute

March 24, 2023

The UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Lucy Chappell visited Liverpool this week to learn more about the role of The Pandemic Institute and its partner institutions, in tackling infectious diseases.

The visit included the University of Liverpool’s Ronald Ross laboratories, the NIHR Clinical Research Facility led by the Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) Accelerator Research Clinic. All are playing a key role in helping The Pandemic Institute in tackling emerging infections and future pandemic threats

Researchers from these institutions shared their latest outputs and future plans including details of how they are using the lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic to address infectious disease challenges more widely.

Key city figures including Mayor Joanne Anderson, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and University of Liverpool Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Jones joined the discussions.

Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said: “It was great to visit The Pandemic Institute in Liverpool and see first-hand the work that is being done by a collection of leading institutions in preparing for future pandemics and tackling infectious diseases.”

DHSC Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Lucy Chappell said: “It was inspiring to visit Liverpool and hear from experts in a range of disciplines who are undertaking translational research to address infectious diseases and respond to emerging infections. This work is making an impact at a local, national and global level.”

Professor Tom Solomon CBE, Director of The Pandemic Institute and Chair who also heads the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections said: “We were privileged to be able to share our current research and future vision with the Chief Scientific Advisors to the both Government and to the DHSC. The Pandemic Institute has worked very closely with the Government Office for Science and DHSC throughout the pandemic, and this visit provided a chance for us to discuss how we will continue to play a leading role in protecting us from emerging threats.”

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said: “Few places can claim to have made a greater contribution to global health than the Liverpool City Region. From the birthplace of Doctor Duncan, the city’s first Medical Officer of Health, to the world’s first institution dedicated to the research and teaching of tropical medicine, and now The Pandemic Institute – we have built an enviable reputation as the home of some of the world’s greatest scientific minds.

“With such an invaluable asset like The Pandemic Institute on our doorstep, I believe that our area has the capacity, the capability and the creativity to be at the forefront of UK science and innovation. To help deliver that vision, we will be investing 5% of our GVA in research and development over the next few years – nearly double the government’s national targets. Our universities will have a massive role to play in helping us to achieve that ambition.”