portrait of Prof. Ab Osterhaus

Prof. Ab Osterhaus

Scientific Coordinator of EMPERIE, based at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Research field

Virology, Infectious Diseases

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Professor Ab Osterhaus is a leading Dutch virologist and influenza expert. He is known throughout the world for his work on SARS and bird flu. “I studied veterinary medicine, so I tend to focus on the animal world. Viruses that jump from animals to humans pose a serious threat to public health”, says Prof. Osterhaus.


SARS and Swine Flu are recent examples of diseases that have jumped from animals to humans. These diseases have a heavy impact on human health. There are now nearly 40 infectious diseases in humans that were not known a generation ago. An effective approach to new viral epidemics is essential, now more than ever.


The aim of EMPERIE is to: 1) recognise new infectious diseases, 2) identify the cause of these diseases, 3) develop treatments and vaccines, and to do this all as quickly as possible. “We want to control an emerging new disease in a couple of weeks”, says Osterhaus, “We focus on diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans”.


International collaboration is crucial in the fight against epidemics. EMPERIE brings together leading experts in virology, pathology, immunology, mathematical modelling, epidemiology, public health research, and emergency preparedness. The result is an efficient and decisive consortium consisting of 12 partners.

Control a newly emerging disease in a couple of weeks

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Image credits

Background image: EMPERIE

Portrait of the project coordinator: EMPERIE

Timeline (in chronological order): EMPERIE