As the Jameel Institute marks its third anniversary, it has published its annual report showcasing some key milestones throughout this year.
The Jameel Institute uses data analytics to combat disease threats worldwide. Since it’s launch in October 2019, the team has been supporting national and international efforts to help model and advise governments and policymakers on the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The institute has continued to contribute to the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, which has been recognised and received awards for its efforts, including the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for “critical modelling and research in the face of the global COVID pandemic”.
Over the last year, the institute has continued to provide real-time modelling to inform responses to new waves of COVID-19 around the world, but attention has been turned to other outbreaks, such as Monkeypox, Ebola and cholera and other endemic diseases such as tuberculosis (TB). The team have been supporting multiple in-country stakeholder, as well as work with WHO and other multilateral organisations.
The Jameel Institute has pivoted its attention to focus on research priorities beyond the pandemic Professor Neil Ferguson Director of Jameel Institute
However, 2022 has also been a year of firsts for the institute. The start of the year gave the institute the opportunity to reflect on the last two years and begin development of their short- and long-term strategy and realign their research priorities.
One example includes Professor Katharina Hauck’s work in health economics and the development of an integrated epidemiological-economic model, DAEDALUS, in collaboration with partners around the world. This work has provided a firm foundation for the recently announced ‘Jameel Institute-Kenneth C Griffin Economics of Pandemic Preparedness Initiative’, which will improve resilience of future pandemic threats.
Strengthening Health Systems
Under the research theme of health system strengthening, the team have continued to work with international partners, including building mathematical modelling capacity in countries with a high burden of tuberculosis (TB), led by Professor Nimalan Arinaminpathy. In addition, he has supported strengthening strategic planning in the context of an increase in global TB incidence for the first time in decades.
The team have has continued to contribute to multinational organisations, such as the Global Fund to inform policy decisions. Professor Timothy Hallet, as Chair of the Modelling Guidance Group, presented the ‘Case for Investment’ to The Global Fund’s 7th Replenishment Planning Conference in February 2022. The Global Replenishment Fund this year raised a total of $15.7 billion, which will contribute to driving down deaths from HIV, TB and malaria.
Professor Majid Ezzati has continued to focus on investigating the impact of air quality and pollution in low- and middle-income countries. He conducted a systematic review of studies measuring personal fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) exposure. Chronic exposure to it considerably increases the risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The review found that there were inequalities in the magnitude of exposure according to countries income status.
Collaboration and engagement
This year has given the institute an opportunity to collaborate and engage with multiple stakeholders, including the general public, other institutes and centres and funders. In June 2022, the institute, together with the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, participated in its first public engagement event to show case our work at the Great Exhibition Road Festival.
Our mission is to establish a robust and trusted methodology Professor Katharina Hauck Deputy Director of Jameel Institute
The annual festival celebrates science and the arts in South Kensington. The institute shared their work on understanding the origins of diseases, how fast they spread in different contexts and mitigation interventions to stop or slow the spread of disease through fun games and activities.
In October, the institute organised it’s first away day which brought together all academics from across the Jameel Institute. In the afternoon, they convened academics from across the College to discussion collaboration opportunities.
There was representation from The Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Institute of Infection, Imperial Business School, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Innovation, Imperial's Faculty of Engineering and the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis.
The annual symposium titled: Preparing for the next pandemic: economics, behaviour and equity took place in November. The institute assembled world leading experts, including leaders from academia, industry and the public sector, to share their experiences to inform decision makers and those working in public health on pandemic preparedness.
This year focused on the necessity to take an interdisciplinary approach – spanning economic, social and behavioural sciences and epidemiology – in learning lessons about how the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic could help improved preparedness and responses to future pandemics. We were joined by a range of experts including Dr Andrew Burns from the World Bank, Professor Dame Theresa Marteau, Director of Behaviour and Health Research Unit and Dr Tonatiuh Barrientos Gutierrez, Director of the Centre for Population Health at the National Institute of Public Health, Mexico.
Professor Neil Ferguson, Director of Jameel Institute, said: “As we enter the endemic phase of SARS-CoV-2 and life in the UK returns to some form of normality, the Jameel Institute has pivoted its attention to focus on research priorities beyond the pandemic. This has been an exciting year as we have delivered some activities, we had to pause due to COVID-19.”
Professor Katharina Hauck, Deputy Director of Jameel Institute, said: “Our mission is to establish a robust and trusted methodology to forecast the potential human impact of future pandemics, across health and the economy.”
Professor Hauck added: “We’re excited to be able to play a central role in this hugely important space moving forward and are grateful for the continued support from Community Jameel and Kenneth C Griffin”
Professor Nimalan Arinaminpathy, a lead investigator at the Jameel Institute, said: “Following COVID disruptions, and for the first time in decades, we are seeing an increase in global tuberculosis incidence. These developments remind us how important it is to increase momentum in the TB response”
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