Maria Van Kerkhove holds an honorary lecturer position at Imperial College after leaving the college in January 2015 to join the Center for Global Health at Institut Pasteur as the Head of their Outbreak Investigation Task Force.
While at Imperial College, Maria Van Kerkhove served as a senior research fellow in the MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London and a Technical Consultant for the Global Capacities, Alert and Response Cluster of the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr Van Kerkhove remains a technical consultant for WHO.
Dr. Van Kerkhove served as the liaison between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling. In this role, she developed projects to support WHO activities and policy decision making for influenza, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), yellow fever, Ebola and other emerging diseases. She and Centre staff continue to provide technical assistance to WHO (including to the Global Influenza Programme, the Pandemic and Epidemic Diseases Department, Initiative for Vaccine Research department and the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network) through the interpretation of available global data, in collaboration with WHO’s member states, regional and country offices and internationally renowned scientists. The centre provides technical support in the areas of influenza, MERS-CoV, polio, malaria, yellow fever, cholera, hepatitis, HIV and meningitis.
Dr Van Kerkhove is also a member of the WHO Task Force for MERS-CoV. Her work involves providing WHO with epidemiologic and statistical support for the analysis and interpretation of MERS-CoV data for risk assessments, web-based summaries and communications; the development of epidemiologic and serologic investigation protocols for MERS-CoV; and other publications on topics related MERS-CoV.
During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, Dr. Van Kerkhove worked directly with WHO’s Global Alert and Response and Global Influenza Programme to support the pandemic response. Her main activity during the pandemic was to coordinate the WHO informal mathematical modelling network for H1N1pdm under the leadership of Professor Neil Ferguson and Dr. Cathy Roth (WHO), which included more than 40 Individuals from public health and academic organizations from around the world.
In addition to this liaison role with WHO, Dr. Van Kerkhove is a leading member of CONSISE (the Consortium for the Standardization of Influenza Seroepidemiology), which is a global partnership aiming to develop influenza investigation protocols and standardize seroepidemiology to inform health policy. This international partnership was formed in 2011 and was created out of a need, identified during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, for timely seroepidemiological data to better estimate pandemic virus infection severity and attack rates to inform policy decisions.
CONSISE has developed into a consortium of two interactive working groups: epidemiology (for which Maria leads) and laboratory (co-lead by John Wood and Othmar Engelhardt of NIBSC), with a steering committee composed of individuals from several organizations includingthe World Health Organization, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the European Centres for Disease Control, Public Health England (Formerly the UK Health Protection Agency), Imperial College London, the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza (Melbourne, Australia), University of Hong Kong, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Hanoi, and Public Health Agency of Canada. CONSISE has held four international meetings (February 2011 in Ottawa Canada, December 2011 in Stockholm Sweden, January 2013 in Hong Kong, SAR, and September 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa).
More information about CONSISE can be found here and in the publications below.
Prior to the 2009 pandemic
Prior to 2009, Dr Van Kerkhove's research focus was highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 (HPAI/H5N1). This research was conducted in Cambodia in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (NAVRI), Institut Pasteur du Cambodge and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and involved the collection of novel field data in rural, peri-urban and urban areas of Cambodia to better understand the risks of transmission of HPAI/H5N1 from poultry to humans and the potential circulation of HPAI via live poultry trade. Her PhD thesis is available here.
Dr Van Kerkhove holds a Ph.D. in infectious disease epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a M.S. in Epidemiology from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Cornell University.
et al., 2014, Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa - The First 9 Months of the Epidemic and Forward Projections, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol:371, ISSN:0028-4793, Pages:1481-1495
et al., 2011, Epidemiologic and virologic assessment of the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic on selected temperate countries in the Southern Hemisphere: Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa, Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, Vol:5, ISSN:1750-2640, Pages:R487-R498
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et al., 2007, Human and Poultry Interaction, Rural Cambodia, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol:13, Pages:130-132
et al., 2002, Fur-rubbing behavior of capuchin monkeys., Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Vol:46, Pages:924-925
et al., 2006, Investigation of coagulase-negative Staphylococci Mediastinitis infection following cardiothoracic surgery, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, Vol:27, Pages:305-307
et al., 2008, Frequency and patterns of contact with domestic poultry and potential risk of H5N1 transmission to humans living in rural Cambodia, Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, Vol:2, ISSN:1750-2640, Pages:155-163
Van Kerkhove MD, 2009, HPAI/H5N1 Transmission Risks: Pathways from Poultry to Humans, HPAI/H5N1 Transmission Risks: Pathways from Poultry to Humans, Mekong Team Working Paper No. 10, http://www.hpai-research.net/docs/Working_papers/WP10%20_2009.pdf, Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations