New global one health network project will tackle infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance

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Researchers at York University are co-leading a transdiciplinary project that is focused on establishing Canada as a leader in global governance of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

Mary Wiktorowicz
Mary Wiktorowicz

Mary Wiktorowicz and Sean Hillier of York University have been awarded $2 million by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to support the development of the “One Health Network for the Global Governance of Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance (GGRID)” for four years. The project is co-led by York University and the University of Ottawa.

The grant will support building and sustaining a transdisciplinary and inter-sectoral One Health Network originating in Canada and extending globally, complementing and closely integrated with related European efforts.

“We will be successful if we can develop transdisciplinary approaches to global governance, which is only possible by building transdisciplinary teams,” says Hillier, an assistant professor in the School of Health Policy & Management and special adviser to the Dean on Indigenous Resurgence in the Faculty of Health at York University.

Sean Hillier

The teams will consist of researchers and knowledge users with diverse disciplinary backgrounds, including the social sciences and the human, animal and environmental health sciences. They include Co-Investigator Dr. James Orbinski, a medical doctor, humanitarian practitioner, and the director of the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, as well as the York Research Chair in Applied Mathematics, Faculty of Science Professor Huaiping Zhu, who will support the mathematical modeling involved in the project.

York University will take leadership in research on global governance of antimicrobial resistance, one of the leading global health challenges of the 21st century. Much of the progress in human health of the last 100 years threatens to come undone as antibiotics become less effective.

Wiktorowicz, professor of Global Health Governance and Policy and an executive committee member of the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, reinforces the need for networked approaches.

“As the causes of antimicrobial resistance are complex,” she says, “our strategies to address it need to foster intersectoral policy coordination on a global scale to improve stewardship of this precious resource.”