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Indo-U.S. Workshop on Building Regional Capacity to Tackle Challenges of Emerging Infections and Global Health Safety

At the 2014 Indo-U.S. Workshop on Challenges of Emerging Infections and Global Health Safety, held in New Delhi, participants identified the need for India and the United States to work together to address the needs of the broader South and South East Asian region for more robust laboratory capacity, including diagnostics, response, and research regarding public health challenges. Many participants agreed that given India’s existing and planned laboratory capacity, capabilities in global health research, and expanding international partnerships, the country is well situated to become a regional leader in global health safety.

Following the 2014 workshop, the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a regional workshop focused on enhancing the ability of laboratories and affiliated researchers to address South and South East Asia’s most difficult public health challenges safely and securely. The Indo-U.S. Workshop on Building Regional Capacity to Tackle Challenges of Emerging Infections and Global Health Safety, held in Victoria, Seychelles, May 8-11, 2016, provided an opportunity to convene biological safety and disease surveillance experts from academic, industry, and governmental research communities in India, the United States, and several other countries in South and South East Asia. 
The goals of the workshop were to encourage scientists to examine global issues related to emerging infections and health safety, to share experiences and approaches, and to identify opportunities for regional cooperation focused on best practices and research in these areas. Participants addressed both human and animal health because zoonotic infections such as avian flu and anthrax have demonstrated that the borderlines between animal and human health are merging. Plant health relevant to human and animal health was also addressed. In sharing and exchanging information and best practices, global health safety in the South and South East Asian Region and in the United States will be improved. 

Organizing Committee:
Dr. James LeDuc (Co-chair)
Director of the Galveston National Laboratory
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas
Dr. Indira Nath (Co-chair)
Former Founder and Head
Department of Biotechnology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences
Chair, Health and Wellbeing Programme
International Council of Science, Paris
Dr. David Franz
Professor (Adjunct Appointment)
Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology
College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University
Dr. Diane Griffin
University Distinguished Service Professor
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Vice President, U.S. National Academy of Sciences
Dr. Joseph Kanabrocki
Associate Vice-President for Research Safety
Professor of Microbiology in the Biological Sciences Division
University of Chicago






Indo-U.S. Workshop on Building Regional Capacity to Tackle Challenges of Emerging Infections and Global Health Safety


Victoria, Seychelles

May 8-11, 2016


May 8, 2016


3:00-7:00 pm                 Registration


4:30 pm                        Preparatory Meeting for Speakers

Co-Chair: Indira Nath, INSA

Co-Chair: James LeDuc, NAS


6:00 pm                        Opening Working Dinner Reception for all Participants and Attendees


May 9, 2016


7:00-8:30 am                 Registration


8:30-9:00 am                 Opening Remarks by Representatives of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and Vice President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

Co-Chair: Indira Nath, INSA

Co-Chair: James LeDuc, NAS


8:30 am                        Rajendra Prasad

Vice President, INSA


8:45 am                        Diane Griffin

Vice President, NAS


9:00-10:30 am               Opening Remarks by Distinguished Scientific and Policy Leaders

Co-Chair: Indira Nath, INSA

Co-Chair: James LeDuc, NAS


                                    Indian Perspective for the Region

His Excellency Mr. Sanjay Panda

High Commissioner, High Commission of India, Republic of Seychelles                            

Current Developments in Biosafety Guidelines for Laboratory and Containment Practices: Challenges and Opportunities in India

                                    S.R. Rao, Department of Biotechnology, India


                                    Indo-U.S. Cooperation in a Regional Context

Dan Garcia, Senior Lab Advisor, U.S. Embassy, New Delhi


10:30-11:00 am             Group Photograph followed by Tea Break


11:00 am-1:30 pm         Introductory Round Table:  Discussion of Regional Laboratory Capacity

                                    INSA Co-Chair:  Indira Nath, INSA

NAS Co-Chair: James LeDuc, NAS


·         What are the most important issues related to infectious disease research, discovery, prevention and response in your country (max 10 min/panelist)? 

·         What are the strengths, concerns and particular research needs such as facilities, personnel, equipment, regulations, oversight challenges, and other issues of importance?


Afghanistan:                 Mohammad Afzal Khosti

Bangladesh:                 Syed Sayeem Uddin Ahmed

Cambodia:                    Monipheap Uch

India:                            Rakesh Bhatnagar

Indonesia:                     Herawati Sudoyo

Laos:                            Darouny Phonekeo

Malaysia:                      Yoke Fun Chan

Pakistan:                      Munazza Nazir

Philippines:                   Edith Sangalang Tria

Singapore:                    Tzer Pin Raymond Lin

Thailand:                       Sirivichayakul Sunee

Vietnam:                       Phuong Lien Nguyen


1:30-2:30 pm                 Lunch in Grand Savoy Restaurant


2:30-6:15 pm                Session 1:  Recognizing and Identifying Emerging and Re-emerging Disease

                                    Co-Chair:  Syed Faisal Mahmood, Pakistan

                                    Co-Chair: Tran Hien Nguyen, Vietnam


·         What have we learned from recent experience during the outbreak, emergence and geographic spread of various diseases?

·         What can we do going forward to limit impact and protect the citizens of the globe?


2:30-3:00 pm                 Emerging Zoonotic Infections with Reference to the Asian Continent: The Need for Containment Laboratories

                                    D.T. Mourya, India


3:00-3:30 pm                 Global Influenza Surveillance

                                    Daniel Jernigan, United States


3:30-4:00 pm                 Tea Break


4:00-4:30 pm                 Emerging Fungal Infections and Drug Resistance

                                    Rajendra Prasad, India


4:30-5:00 pm                 Case Study of Texas Ebola Patient

James LeDuc, United States


5:00-5:30 pm                 Emerging Pathogens: Research Challenges Imposed by the Regulatory Framework in India

                                    Sumathy Kandaswamy, India


5:30-6:15 pm                 Discussion       


6:30 pm                        Key Note Address:  Developing and Sustaining Regional Networks

Mark Smolinski, United States


8:00 pm                        Dinner in Grand Savoy Restaurant


May 10, 2016


8:30 am-12:00 pm         Session 2: The Biotech Revolution:  Opportunities and Challenges

Co-Chair: Rani Faryal Faheem Tahir, Pakistan

                                    Co-Chair: Chiek Sivhour, Cambodia


·         What are the challenges and opportunities for infectious disease research posed by advances in biotechnology?

·         How can the critical life sciences research continue safely and securely?


8:30-8:50 am                 Genome Editing (NAS meeting summary)

Diane Griffin, United States                   


8:50-9:10 am                 Biotech in Pakistan

Zabta Khan Shinwari, Pakistan


9:10-10:00 am               Discussion       


10:00-10:30 am             Tea Break


10:30-10:50 am             Pathogen Discovery and Prediction of Infectious Disease Outbreaks

B. Ravindran, India


10:50-11:10 am              Recombinant and Spore Vaccines for Anthrax

Yogendra Singh, India


11:10-11:30 am             The Pace and Proliferation of Emerging Biological Technologies: A Critical Appraisal

                                    Pawan Dhar, India


11:30 am-12:00 pm        Discussion


12:00-1:00 pm               Lunch in Grand Savoy Restaurant


1:00-1:30 pm                 Public Report Release:  Challenges of Emerging Infections and Global Health Safety: Summary of a Workshop


1:30-3:00 pm                Session 3: Cultures of Responsibility:  Regulation, Training, Leadership and Communities of Trust

Co-Chair: S.R. Rao, India

Co-Chair: T.S. Saraswathy Subramaniam, Malaysia


·         How can communities of trust be fostered and supported for safety, security and the productivity of research?

·         How can communities of trust be strengthened beyond one country to the region more broadly?


1:30-1:50 pm                 Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders

Zabta Khan Shinwari, Pakistan


1:50-2:10 pm                 Finding the Balance: Regulation, Safety, Security and Productivity                                  
David Franz, United States


2:10-2:30 pm                 Building Regional Capacity for Vaccine Development in India for Emerging and

Re-emerging Infections

                                    T.S. Rao, India


2:30-3:00 pm                 Discussion


3:00-3:30 pm                Tea Break

3:30-5:00 pm                Session 4:  Regional Biosafety/Biosecurity: Panel Discussion

                                    Co-Chair: Joe Kanabrocki, United States

                                    Co-Chair: Iram Iqrar, Pakistan


·         How can the various national approaches of operating high-containment laboratories inform the following lessons learned and opportunities for (10 mins/speaker):

o  training of individuals for work at each level of biocontainment;

o  training in safe handling of laboratory animals;

o  standards for pathogen inactivation;

o  personnel reliability;

o  safe shipment (and lack of commercial carriers);

o  training tools—lesson plans, mentoring programs;

o  certification;

o  management of visiting scientists desiring to work in biocontainment;

o  select agent-equivalent regulations; and,

o  regional consistency of regulations or other issues of interest to the community?


Cambodia:                    Sokunna Sau

India:                            Gopal Pande

Malaysia:                      T.S. Saraswathy Subramaniam

Philippines:                   Edith Sangalang Tria

Singapore:                    Viji Vijayan

Vietnam:                       Thi Cam Van Ha


6:00 pm                        Key Note Address:  Genetic Polymorphism and Susceptibility to Infectious Diseases

B. Ravindran, India


7:30 pm                        Dinner in Grand Savoy Restaurant


May 11, 2016


8:00-10:00 am              Session 5:  Biocontainment Laboratories – Needs and Opportunities: 

                                    Regional Panel Discussion

Co-Chair: Sibgha Tayyab, Pakistan

Co-Chair: Gopal Pande, India


·         What are the particular challenges each speaker faces in maintaining a safe and secure biocontainment laboratory (15 mins/speaker), including but not limited to:

o    maintenance and operations;

o    support personnel;

o    equipment;

o    utilities and other routine expenses—cost of operations;

o    physical security;

o    personnel security and reliability (overlaps with biosafety group);

o    reference services (diagnostics, test and evaluation);

o    sustaining research agendas; and,

o    information/cyber security?


India:                            D.T. Mourya

Indonesia:                     Herawati Sudoyo

Laos:                            Darouny Phonekeo

Malaysia:                      Sazaly Bin Abu Bakar


10:00-10:30 am             Coffee Break


10:30 am-12:00 pm       Session 6: Zoonotics and One Health

Co-Chair: Tran Hien Nguyen, Vietnam

Co-Chair: David Franz, United States


·         What are some examples from the region of specific research projects involving zoonotic infections, especially those that require biocontainment (15 mins/speaker), including:

o    coordination of regional control efforts for zoonotic infections;

o    economically important animal pathogens such as FMD;

o    avian influenza;

o    nipah; and,

o    biocontainment requirements?


Afghanistan:                  Mohammad Hafiz Rasooly

Bangladesh:                  Sukanta Chowdhury

India:                            H.K. Prasad

Indonesia:                     Wiku Bakti Bawono Adisasmito

                                    Thailand:                       Supaporn Wacharaplusesadee


12:00-1:00 pm               Lunch in Grand Savoy Restaurant


1:00-3:00 pm                Session 7: Models for Regional Collaborations

Co-Chair: Tzer Pin Raymond Lin, Singapore

Co-Chair: Mark Smolinski, United States


·         What are the present and future opportunities for regional collaboration? Including, but not limited to:

o    standardization of pathogen or syndrome specific surveillance;

o    essential personnel, laboratory and communications infrastructure to collect and manage data;

o    challenges in cross-border collaborations and description of successful models;

o    existing successful surveillance systems and the diseases most likely to be addressed next;

o    coordination of response efforts to recognized threats; and,

o    reporting structure—emergency and routine (MMWR-like publications).


1:00-1:30 pm                 Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance Program

                                    Moe Ko Oo, Thailand


1:30-2:00 pm                 EPI/HIV/Avian Influenza National Programs

Tran Hien Nguyen, Vietnam


2:00-2:30 pm                 The Structure of Risk Management During Emergency Response and the Structures and Strengths of India

                                    N.K. Ganguly, India


2:30-3:15 pm                 Discussion


3:15-4:30 pm                Session 8:  Closing Discussion:  Next Steps—Collaborations and Partnerships

Co-Chair: Indira Nath, INSA

Co-Chair: James LeDuc, NAS


·         What are the main themes that have emerged throughout the workshop for future actionable items?

·         Where are there existing capabilities and related needs, such as access to biocontainment facilities?


4:30 pm                        Adjournment


Workshop Participants

Adisasmito, Wiku                      Indonesia

Ahmed, Syed Sayeem Uddin      Bangladesh

Bakar, Sazaly Bin Abu               Malaysia

Bhatnagar, Rakesh                    India

Chan, Yoke-Fun                        Malaysia

Chiek, Sivhour                           Cambodia

Chowdhury, Sukanta                  Bangladesh

Dhar, Pawan                              India

Franz, David                              United States

Faryal Faheem Tahir, Rani          Pakistan

Ganguly, Nirmal Kumar               India

Garcia, Dan                               United States

Garhyan, Jaishree                      India

Griffin, Diane                              United States

Guenther, Rita                           United States

Ha, Thi Cam Van                       Vietnam

Iqrar, Iram                                 Pakistan

Jernigan, Dan                            United States

Kanabrocki, Joseph                   United States

Kandaswamy, Sumathy             India

Khandelwal, Nitesh                    India

Khosti, Mohammad Afzal           Afghanistan

LeDuc, James                           United States

Lester, Vanessa                        United States

Lin, Tzer Pin Raymond               Singapore

Mahmood, Syed Faisal              Pakistan

Moitra, Aolk                              India

Mourya, Devendra Tarachand      India

Narayan, Madhavendra               India

Nath, Indira                               India

Nazir, Munazza                         Pakistan

Nguyen, Trans Hien                   Vietnam

Oo, Moe Ko                              Thailand

Pande, Gopal                            India

Phonekeo, Darouny                   Laos

Prasad, H.K.                             India

Prasad, Rajendra                       India

Rao, S.R.                                  India

Rao, T.S.                                  India

Ravindran, B.                             India

Rasooly, Mohammad Hafiz         Afghanistan

Rusek, Ben                               United States

Sau, Sokunna                           Cambodia

Shinwari, Zabta Khan                 Pakistan

Singh, Yogendra                        India

Sirivichayakul, Sunee                 Thailand

Smolinski, Mark                         United States

Subramaniam, T.S. Saraswathy  Malaysia

Sudoyo, Herawati                       Indonesia

Tayyab, Sibgha                         Pakistan

Tria, Edith Sangalang                 Philippines

Uch, Monipheap                        Cambodia

Vijayan, Vijayalaxmy (Viji)          Singapore

Wacharapluesadee, Supaporn    Thailand



For More Information


Rita S. Guenther, Ph.D.

Senior Program Officer

The National Academy of Sciences

500 Fifth Street, NW

Washington, DC  20001

Phone:  202-334-2359

Fax:  202-334-1730