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Ecosystem Services Podcast Tutorials

The Effects of Ecosystem Services
on Chronic and Infectious Diseases

Peter Daszak (IOM)
President
EcoHealth Alliance

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Dr. Peter Daszak is President of EcoHealth Alliance, a US-based organization which conducts research and field programs on global health and conservation.  At EcoHealth Alliance, Dr Daszak manages a headquarters staff of 35 and a global staff of over 700 which conducts research and manages initiatives to prevent emerging pandemics and conserve wildlife biodiversity.  This includes research on zoonoses that spill over from wildlife in emerging disease 'hotspots', including influenza, Nipah virus, SARS, West Nile virus and others.  Dr Daszak’s work includes identifying the first case of a species extinction due to disease, the discovery of chytridiomycosis, the major cause of global amphibian declines, publishing the first paper to highlight emerging diseases of wildlife, coining the term ‘pathogen pollution’, discovery of the bat origin of SARS-like coronaviruses, identifying the drivers of Nipah and Hendra virus emergence, and producing the first ever emerging disease ‘hotspots’ map.

Dr. Daszak is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Microbial Threats, and has served the IOM Committee on global surveillance for emerging zoonoses, the NRC committee on the future of veterinary research, and the International Standing Advisory Board of the Australian Biosecurity CRC.  In 2010, he advised the Director for Medical Preparedness Policy on the White House National Security Staff on global health issues.  Dr Daszak is also a member of the Council of Advisors of the One Health Commission, Treasurer of DIVERSITAS (ICSU), Editor-in-Chief of the Springer journal Ecohealth, former Treasurer and a founding director of the International Ecohealth Association.  In 2000, he won the CSIRO medal for collaborative research in the discovery of amphibian chytridiomycosis. He has published over 150 scientific papers and book chapters, including papers in Science, Nature, PNAS, The Lancet, PLoS Biology and other leading journals.  Dr Daszak was invited to present his work at TEDMED, and has been the focus of articles in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Washington Post, US News & World Report  CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, ABC, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Morning Edition & Fresh Air with Terri Gross.  He is a former guest worker at the CDC where he assisted in the pathology activity during the 1999 Nipah virus outbreak.  His work is funded by the John E. Fogarty International Center of NIH, NIAID, NSF, USAID, Google.org, Rockefeller and other foundations.  To date, his organization is one of the few to have been awarded three prestigious NIH/NSF ‘Ecology of Infectious Disease’ awards, and is one of four partners to share a recent $75 million dollar award from USAID (“PREDICT”) with the goal of predicting and preventing the next emerging zoonotic disease.