Symposium focuses on diseases that jump from animals to humans

The 2022 Canada-China Symposium on Modeling, Prevention and Control of Zoonoses, organized by the Canadian Center for Disease Modeling at York University, took place Nov. 11 to 16 and examined how zoonotic disease spreads through humans.

The “2022 Canada-China Symposium on Modeling, Prevention and Control of Zoonoses,” which took place from Nov. 11 to 16 EST (Nov 12 -16, Beijing time UTC+8), co-organized by the Center for Disease Modeling (CDM), was a resounding success. As a collaborative CDM Canada-China program that takes place annually, this year the symposium focused on modelling, prevention and control of zoonoses (infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or prions that jump from animals to humans). The symposium brought together more than 100 experts and scholars from across Canada and China in the fields of mathematical modelling for infectious diseases, public health and veterinary public health.

The symposium was presented in a hybrid format
The symposium was presented in a hybrid format

The five-day 2022 Canada-China Symposium was held virtually, and was jointly organized by the CDM, the Center for Mathematical Biosciences of Northeast Normal University, the China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center and the Chinese Society of Mathematical Biology.

This Canada-China event kicked off the first two days with focused, distinguished lectures given by global thought leaders and experts on topics covering the latest development and progress in the field. The remaining three days were filled with invited talks and panel discussions focused on the concept of “one health” and promoting mathematical modeling research in solving practical problems by in-depth coordinated development in multidisciplinary fields, to prevent and control the occurrence and prevalence of zoonotic diseases. The seminar focused on hotspot issues of zoonotic diseases and included eight distinguished lectures, 26 invited talks and six panel discussions involving 22 scholars, which strengthened interdisciplinary and interdepartmental connectivity and cooperation among the scientific community on zoonotic disease modeling, prevention and control.

The 2022 Canada-China Symposium Organizing Committee was co-chaired by York Research Chair, Professor Huaiping Zhu, the director of CDM, and Professor Meng Fan, from Northeast Normal University in China The organizing committee included CDM members Julien Arino (University of Manitoba), Jacques Belair (University of Montreal), Jingan Cui (Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, China), York Mathematics and Statistics Professor Jane Heffernan, Zhen Jin (Shanxi University, China), Wendi Wang (Southwest University, China), Youming Wang (China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center), James Watmough (University of New Brunswick), and Yanni Xiao (Xi’an Jiaotong University, China). York postdoc Pei Yuan and York Program Manager Natasha Ketter were involved in the local supporting committee.

Heffernan, with York Professors Jude Dzevela Kong, Iain Moyles, Woldegebriel Assefa Woldegerima and about 200 graduate students, postdocs and scholars also participated in the event.

The distinguished lectures provided a comprehensive and in-depth elaboration on the challenges, research hotspots, latest progress, prevention and control experience and reflections on the prevention and control of zoonotic diseases.

Kong, Moyles, Assefa Woldegerima and 23 speakers across Canada and China shared their latest research results and frontiers in zoonotic disease modeling, prevention and control, involving a variety of zoonotic diseases such as monkeypox, COVID-19, Lyme disease, Malaria, West Nile Virus fever, Ebola and Brucellosis.

The innovative organizing of the seminar broke down barriers of disciplines, strengthened the transformational connection between individual research, teamwork and scientific research institutions, and promoted the interdisciplinary benign interaction and multi-party cooperation in zoonotic disease modeling, prevention and control. The symposium is not only of great significance for innovating ideas on the prevention and control of zoonoses, but also a beneficial attempt for the deep integration of public health, veterinary public health, mathematical biology and other disciplines, making significant contributions to global research of “one health” framework.

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