Our vision

A future where large outbreaks and global pandemics are averted.

Emerging infectious diseases are of global concern, as highlighted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. More than 75% of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic in origin (transmitted from animals to humans), and their incidence has tripled over the past 30 years. The increase in outbreaks has been driven by a variety of factors including human encroachment into wildlife habitats, increasing urbanisation, agricultural intensification, and climate change.

CSIRO and JCU have partnered to build a research programme on emerging infectious diseases, focussing on Northern Australia and the Indo-Pacific region. We are considering emerging infectious diseases through the dual lenses of One Health and biosecurity. This Joint research programme is interdisciplinary, encompassing all aspects of emerging infectious diseases, including:

  • Developing and utilising innovative surveillance techniques (Internet of Things, sensing, other existing data, citizen science and Indigenous knowledge).
  • Developing new diagnostics and treatments.
  • Understanding the host-pathogen response (e.g. through cell culture/animal model, Next generation sequencing, in-silico or molecular analysis).
  • Identifying and developing possible responses (including vaccine or drug development where needed).
  • Understanding sociocultural aspects (community engagement, change management, well-being aspects of One Health, behaviour change and communication).
  • Establishing what the ideal roles of the human and animal health systems would be for an integrated One Health approach, and identify any gaps not covered by these two systems.
  • Developing decision support systems for decision makers.

Contact us

If you’d like to get in touch, please email A/Prof Roslyn Hickson.

Dr Roslyn Hickson

Science Leader, Emerging Infectious Diseases

  • A/Prof Roslyn Hickson is a Science Leader for Emerging Infectious Diseases, a joint appointment with James Cook University. Her research is broadly on informing policy and practice through the mathematical modelling of infectious diseases, with a focus on emerging and neglected tropical diseases, through the lenses of biosecurity and One Health.