HSE Seminar on Respiratory Pathogens: past, present and future

503/1-001 - Council Chamber (CERN)

503/1-001 - Council Chamber


Show room on map
Andre Henriques (CERN)

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder that viruses are all around us, with more or less severe effects and impact that can reach worldwide proportions. Following the public interest and vigilance around viruses, and virology in general, has increased markedly. The COVID-19 pandemic has also provided us with lessons learned and experience that may help us to be better equipped for potential future pandemics. The importance of multidisciplinary efforts and science-driven policies is greater than ever in this context.

Join us to find out more with speakers from WHO, the University of Leicester - Department of Respiratory Sciences and the INRS

The event will be held in person at the Council Chamber. As there are a limited number of places available, we invite you to book you seat below. Please note that the event will also be transmitted via video conference with the possibility of asking questions remotely, and a recording will be made available after the event.

The event will be held in English.

Registration to participate to the HSE Seminar on Respiratory Pathogens: past, present and future
  • Amrita Khanna
  • Archana Sharma
  • Devanshu Kiran Panchal
  • Ebba Jakobsson
  • Ewa Stępień
  • Federica Baldassari
  • Laura Lambert
  • Manuela Cirilli
  • Marco Silari
  • Nicolas Mounet
  • Panagiota Chatzidaki
  • Thierry Duverger
  • Thomas Otto
  • Vijay Chakravarty
  • Yannic Body
  • +31
    • 1
      Speakers: Andre Henriques (CERN), Benoit Delille (CERN)
    • 2
      Viruses, physics, sci-fi and public health - mysteries and similarities

      Dr Julian W Tang
      Consultant Virologist, Clinical Microbiology, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
      Honorary Associate Professor, Respiratory Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK

      The COVID-19 pandemic has brought together specialists from many different fields - who would normally not meet during the course of their professional lives. In this light-hearted talk, I will compare some phenomena and mysteries in virology and physics (a passion for particle physics and cosmology since my school days) - and would be very interested to exchange thoughts with this unique CERN audience on some of these questions, such influenza seasonality, gain of function studies and origins of pandemic viruses, as well as how to deal with uncertainty in viral transmission risks and the precautionary principle - to prepare for the next pandemic. Within such areas of uncertainty, science fiction can flourish - and maybe even inspire new ideas about possible solutions to some of these conundrums – subject well covered in Hollywood movies and South Korean dramas, combining the world of viruses and physics of space-time travel.
      My talk will cover the similarities between these fields and the mysteries still to be understood in view of preparing for the next global health crisis.

      Speaker: Julian W Tang (University of Leicester)
    • 2:50 PM
      Q&A talk 1
    • 3
      ARIA: A WHO/CERN collaboration and the importance of multidisciplinary science-driven policies

      Alice Simniceanu
      Epidemiologist, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO)

      Almost the entire global population (99%) breathes air that exceeds WHO air quality limits and threatens their health. This represents an estimated 4.2 million deaths globally linked to ambient air pollution, mainly from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections. Since 1957, WHO is actively engaged on indoor air quality and, in 2021, the new global quality guideline was published. However, as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic required a rethinking of pathogen transmission mechanisms, our perception and understanding of air quality has changed. My talk will try to describe the major implications of this paradigm shift on future health policies and the importance of multidisciplinary collaborations to inform evidence-based decisions. Finally, we will see the possible impact of ARIA on the current pandemic as well as on the future scientific landscape.

      Speaker: Alice Simniceanu (WHO)
    • 3:15 PM
      Q&A talk 2
    • 4
      Impact of COVID on workplace health & safety: importance of ventilation and lessons learnt

      Dr Romain Guichard
      Head of the Aeraulic Engineering laboratory, Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité (INRS)

      The majority of workplaces were not well prepared to deal with airborne disease transmission. The COVID-19 pandemic then required the implementation of emergency measures concerning the aeration and ventilation of the premises. My talk will first come back to the reasoning that led to the development of the instructions given to companies about air renewal. Secondly, we will see what lessons could be drawn from this crisis to improve the health of workers in the long term and prevent the consequences of future pandemics, while remaining in line with the challenges of energy sobriety we are facing today.

      Speaker: Romain Guichard (INRS)
    • 3:40 PM
      Q&A talk 3
    • 5
      Panel discussion with the experts - Q&A interaction
      Speakers: Alice Simniceanu (WHO), Julian W Tang (University of Leicester), Romain Guichard (INRS)