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Dr Gail Carson from the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) is nominated chair of WHO Global Outbreak Alert & Response Network (GOARN)

Dr Gail Carson, new chair of GOARN

The Global Outbreak Alert & Response Network is a network of over 270 institutions and partners around the world who work together on outbreak preparedness and response. The Operational Support Team is hosted by WHO Geneva and there are regional focal points at the WHO regional offices. Gail one of the Directors at the clinical research network ISARIC, University of Oxford became Chair of GOARN last week.

Dr Gail Carson qualified from Edinburgh Medical School in 1994. After obtaining her MRCP she studied the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at Liverpool. She completed her specialty training in Manchester and took up a Consultants post with the Health Protection Agency at Porton Down. Additionally, she carried out clinical work at Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

During her infectious diseases training she had opportunities to work with the WHO on viral haemorrhagic fevers, SARS and H5N1. This interest in emerging pathogen outbreaks has continued and is the reason why she took up the post with the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) in 2012. ISARIC is a network of clinical research networks working with the other disciplines such as public health to prepare and roll out an integrated outbreak research response to help improve the knowledge base to inform patient care and policy.

This nomination follows on from being GOARN Deputy Chair for 4 years and Research lead prior to that. Most recently leading on the new strategy for GOARN in partnership with the steering committee, regional focal points and partners. 

Dr Gail Carson says:

After being involved with GOARN over the past 22 years it is an absolute honour to be elected chair.  The pandemic has created great uncertainty in the global health preparedness and response space. GOARN has a new strategy to add value and to help with the remodelling of that space. I look forward to working with the GOARN OST, partners and stakeholders in implementing the strategy over the next 2 years. GOARN will continue to work closely with the WHO and align where we can to serve and work alongside the people who need us most.

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