Mérieux Foundation co-organized event
Pioneering Ebola Response
24 May 2022 - Milken Institute School of Public Health
Symposium honoring Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum
A model for local leadership to address emerging infectious disease
Challenges and opportunities for future detection of pandemic threats
In 1976, Prof. Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum discovered Ebola during an outbreak in central Democratic Republic of Congo (then, Zaire). Now a professor of Microbiology at the Université Kinshasa Medical School, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) and a scientific advisor to the WHO, Professor Muyembe has dedicated his career to the management and treatment of Ebola virus disease. No person in the world has more experience containing outbreaks and his innovations in the field span from control measures used today to a patented serotherapy.
At a time when DRC is experiencing its 14th outbreak since 1976, the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the Mérieux Foundation USA are bringing together top experts in global health security, epidemiology, and international health with Prof. Muyembe to discuss today’s most pressing challenges for emerging infectious disease response and models for success.
The symposium featured:
- Introduction by Dr. Jon Andrus, Adjunct Professor, Milken Institute School of Public Health
- Presentation by Prof. Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum on ‘Lessons from the discovery of Ebola and outbreak response in Democratic Republic of Congo’
- Panel discussion moderated by Dr. David Heymann, Chairman of the Mérieux Foundation USA and Chair of WHO’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards (STAG-IH) on ‘Challenges and opportunities for future detection of pandemic threats’, including:
- Dr. Tom Inglesby, Director, Center for Health Security, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Dr. Rebecca Katz, Director, Center for Global Health Science and Security, Georgetown
- Dr. Christopher N. Mores, Professor, Department of Global Health, Director, BSL-3 Containment Facility, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University
- Dr. Nancy Sullivan, Senior Investigator, Acting Chief, Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory, Chief, Biodefense Research Section, NIAID
- Dr. Daniel Mukadi, Regional Director, National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB), Director of the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory INRB Goma
- Dr. David Heymann & Dr. Ron Waldman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Global Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University
- Closing remarks by Dr. Dorothy Peprah, Senior Global Health Security Agenda Advisor, USAID
- Additional half-hour session of presentations and discussions on the current Monkeypox situation with Dr. David Heymann
Read the backgrounder and speaker biographies
Building Outbreak Response Capacity in DRC
USAID, the Mérieux Foundation and Mérieux Foundation USA, in partnership with the National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) of DRC, joined forces to establish the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory at INRB Goma to provide a permanent reference laboratory for Ebola and other emerging disease threats, a secure biobank for samples collected during outbreaks, and an operations center for INRB outbreak response teams to enable rapid investigation.
Find out more about the Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory INRB Goma
Discover how the National Institute of Biomedical Research, the Mérieux Foundation and Mérieux Foundation USA are working together on the USAID Infectious Disease Detection and Surveillance (IDDS) project, coordinated by ICF, to strengthen outbreak response capacities in eastern DRC.