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Exchanges at the Frontier with Jeremy Farrar

Thursday 22 November 2012, 19.30-21.00

Exchanges at the Frontier returns to Wellcome Collection this autumn for a fourth series in partnership with the BBC World Service, hosting some of the biggest names in world science.

Jeremy Farrar is at the forefront of the fight against avian flu. As the Director of the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, he holds a position of huge range and responsibility. In 2004 the H5N1 outbreak that started in Vietnam unleashed panic across the globe, particularly as it followed so closely behind the lethal SARS epidemic. Since then, in addition to treating patients, Jeremy has led a collaborative effort to prevent this devastating virus from reaching pandemic proportions.

Avian flu is not the only challenge facing South-east Asia – Jeremy and his team also tackle other infectious diseases such as malaria, typhoid and dengue fever. But the H5N1 outbreak signalled a change in the direction of research, placing avian flu high up the research agenda. As Jeremy says, "infectious diseases don’t stand still," and science must be ready to respond to new challenges. 

Vietnam has had a tough history - much of the 20th century was spent fighting both foreign and internal forces - but the country is now developing rapidly and is a vibrant and energetic place to be. With that development comes exciting opportunities but also challenges for biomedical research. Join Jeremy Farrar in conversation with A C Grayling to learn more about the joys and trials of working at the forefront of research into emerging infectious disease in South-east Asia.

An edited recording of this event will be broadcast in early 2013 on the BBC World Service to a global audience of 40 million people.

This event is FREE. 

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