Dr. Peter Daszak
Dr. Peter Daszak is President of EcoHealth Alliance, a US-based organization that conducts research and outreach programs on global health, conservation, and international development. Dr. Daszak’s research has been instrumental in identifying and predicting the impact of emerging diseases across the globe. His achievements include identifying the bat origin of SARS, and the underlying drivers of both Nipah and Hendra virus emergence. He confirmed the first case of a species extinction due to disease, and identified chytridiomycosis as the cause of amphibian declines around the globe. He is one of the founders of the field of conservation medicine and has been instrumental in the growth of EcoHealth, One Health, and now Planetary Health.
A fundamental part of Dr. Daszak’s work on disease ecology is directed by the conviction that disease outbreaks are not just predictable, but preventable. This approach is informed by a perspective on emerging infectious disease research that sees problems of human and animal disease as intimately linked—exacerbated by ecological change. With this in mind, he led the research that produced the first ever global emerging disease ‘hotspots’ map to determine where in the world viruses with pandemic potential were most likely to emerge, and developed a strategy to identify just how many of those viruses currently exist.
Dr. Daszak is a member and Chair-elect of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Forum on Microbial Threats. He is a member of the NRC Advisory Committee to the US Global Change Research Program, and has advised the Director for Medical Preparedness Policy on the White House National Security Staff on global health issues. He is a regular advisor to WHO, OIE and FAO, and is actively involved in the WHO Expert group on Public Health Emergency Disease Prioritization. Dr. Daszak won the 2000 CSIRO medal for collaborative research on the discovery of amphibian chytridiomycosis, is the EcoHealth Alliance institutional lead for USAID-EPT-PREDICT, is on the Editorial Board of Conservation Biology, One Health, GeoHealth, and Trans. Roy. Soc. Trop Med Hyg, and is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Ecohealth. He has authored over 300 scientific papers, and his work has been the focus of extensive media coverage, ranging from press articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Washington Post, US News & World Report, and broadcast appearances on 60 Minutes, CNN, ABC, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Morning Edition, and Fresh Air with Terry Gross.