Associate Director, One Health Institute
Global Lead-Sierra Leone, PREDICT Project
Brian Bird, DVM, PhD, MPH, leads Ebola-related surveillance activities as part of the USAID-funded PREDICT program led by UC Davis. Dr. Bird’s work has a particular focus in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia to identify the animal reservoir origins of ebolaviruses, and to determine if spill-over into other animal species occurred during the recent devastating regional outbreak. He is co-principal investigator for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA)-funded Preventing Emerging Pandemic Threats (PREEMPT) project at UC Davis, where he leads in-depth investigations of Lassa fever virus ecology, genomics, and spillover dynamics from rodent reservoirs into humans in West Africa. Previously, Dr. Bird served as veterinary medical officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Viral Special Pathogens Branch. He was an early-stage lead of the CDC Emergency Operations Center Laboratory task force during the 2014-16 West African Ebola epidemic, and then later lead of the CDC field-diagnostic laboratory in Sierra Leone, which successfully and safely tested over 27,000 specimens from suspect Ebola virus patients.