By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday it was looking for the greatest scientific minds to advise on investigations into new high-threat pathogens that jump from animals to humans and could spark the next pandemic.
Launching a request for applications, it said that its Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens would also review progress on the next studies into the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that emerged in China in late 2019.
“We need to bring in the best minds here. And it needs to be multi-disciplinary,” Maria van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, told Reuters.
The panel, announced by WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in July, will be composed of 25 experts expected to meet first virtually in late September, a statement said.
“In the last 20 years we’ve had many of these pathogens emerge or re-emerge: SARS, MERS,…