Experts gather at EPIC symposium to discuss how to bolster support for infectious disease research and pandemic preparedness
A panel of experts called for sustained funding investments, stronger ready-to-use infrastructure and improved communications to help Canada break the cycle of panic and neglect around infectious diseases. These themes emerged from a discussion at the first annual Emerging and Pandemic Infections Consortium symposium held in mid-October. The panelists included Leah Cowen, vice-president, research and innovation, and strategic initiatives at the University of Toronto, Marisa Creatore, executive director of the Centre for Research on Pandemic Preparedness and Health Emergencies at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and U of T President Emeritus David Naylor.
As cold and flu season approaches, Canadians are facing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), an increase in COVID-19 activity, and influenza — but also have new options to protect their health. To learn more, we spoke with Shelly Bolotin, director of the Centre for Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Shaun Morris, a pediatric infectious disease physician at the Hospital for Sick Children, and Allison McGeer, an infectious disease specialist at Toronto’s Sinai Health.
U of T researchers unveil new preclinical insights into why males are more likely to have severe COVID-19
A new study from a team of EPIC members has uncovered the biological reasons underlying sex differences in COVID-19 outcomes and is offering a promising new strategy to prevent illness. Early on during the pandemic, clinicians quickly noticed that males were more likely than females to be hospitalized or admitted to the ICU or to die from COVID-19 despite having similar infection rates. This pattern held true across all age groups and in countries around the world. The research, conducted in mice and published in the journal iScience, points to the ACE2 protein as a key contributor to differences in COVID-19 outcomes between males and females.