Despite a worldwide investment of time and resources, the ability to predict with certainty which viruses will make the zoonotic jump from wildlife into humans remains elusive. As a result, responses to outbreaks have been reactive, with the focus on containing the spread of virus through behavior change and treating or vaccinating people infected after the initial spillover.
PREEMPT aims to turn this approach on its head by predicting the emergence of highly pathogenic viruses in animals, and then preventing them from spilling over to humans altogether using strategies that include a novel animal vaccine.
Led by the One Health Institute in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the Center for Comparative Medicine in the UC Davis schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, this research is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of its Preventing Emerging Pathogenic Threats (PREEMPT) program.
Collaborating researchers include the University of Idaho and Plymouth University in England, with co-investigators from Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology in Germany, the University of Glasgow in Scotland, NIH’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories, and the University of Western Australia.
Meet the team here.
For more information on PREEMPT, visit the website.