Infectious diseases have an increasingly large impact on the health of humans and animals worldwide, including densely-populated countries like the Netherlands. In 2050, about ten million people are predicted to die worldwide from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections alone if we do not find new solutions, while viral infections are also spreading at an alarming rate. The four NCOH strategic research themes focus on studying the interactions and connections between human, veterinary, wildlife, and environmental health in pursuit of durable solutions to the grand societal challenges requiring a One Health approach.
Combatting antimicrobial resistance
“To find new solutions to combat infectious diseases, like the issue of antimicrobial resistance, we need a holistic view and a multidisciplinary approach, which is an important reason for us to join NCOH”, says professor Heiman Wertheim, clinical microbiologist and chair of the Radboud Center of Infectious Diseases. “At Radboudumc we have a strong research theme on infectious diseases and global health with operational multidisciplinary research networks worldwide. Recently we recruited a PhD student as part of the NCOH collaboration who will work on fungal infections where antimicrobial resistance is a major, but often neglected, issue. We look forward to contribute to NCOH, learn from each other and conduct relevant research together.”
The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) will participate in NCOH through three of its institutes that are thematically linked to the NCOH Strategic Research Agenda: Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology & Stem Cell Research, and Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO).
Strong academic network on infectious diseases
“With Radboudumc and the KNAW both joining the NCOH as a partner, the leading academic research institutes will now form an even stronger academic network on infectious diseases in the Netherlands. NCOH is indeed a joint scientific force further tackling One Health issues in public health, animal health, food production and the environment, with an integrated and interdisciplinary approach”, says Martin Scholten, chairman of the NCOH Supervisory Board.