New research centre will contribute to enhanced pandemic preparedness
Knowledge of past and current pandemics is important to allow us to prepare for future threats. At Roskilde University, a new research centre, the PandemiX Center, has been set up to investigate the dynamics and impact of pandemics and epidemics, with the aim of providing a knowledge base for contingency plans for current and future pandemics.
Lone Simonsen, Professor in Public Health at the Department of Science and Environment, is head of the PandemiX Center.
“Our research team has been working at high pressure ever since COVID-19 arrived in Denmark. The range of expertise in our group has made it possible to provide unique input to the handling of the pandemic by the authorities. As a research centre, we will be able to share our analyses and novel findings more effectively,” says Professor Simonsen.
Using an interdisciplinary approach, the research centre will be anchored in the methodologies of mathematical epidemiology, and the centre also include researchers in the humanities and the social sciences. Between these normally distant disciplines we wish to understand how pandemics are impacted by societal factors as social institutions, major events, quality of life, climate, urbanisation, demography, economy and migration.
Researchers at the PandemiX Center use statistical and dynamical models to investigate the patterns and health burden of pandemics, and the effect of mitigation strategies such as vaccines. A further goal of the research centre is to promote and make available to other researchers the unique Danish and Nordic historical health data that are uniquely suited for studies of past pandemics, and to create a unique focus on interdisciplinary pandemiology at Roskilde University.
The PandemiX Center works closely with researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen and at DTU Health Tech. In the context of the research project NORDEMICS, which has received approximately DKK 11 million in funding from NordForsk, the research centre also collaborates with partners at the University of Oslo, Norway, the University of Turku, Finland, and Lund University, Sweden.