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Funding Awarded for AI Research to Fight Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance

Funding Awarded for AI Research to Fight Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance

At a time when the risk of emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases (ERIDs) is increasing, an international team led by York University successfully competed for and received a $7.25M grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to help tackle the issue. This grant will enable the research team to create positive change by working alongside countries in the Global South to develop equitable and responsible artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and big data approaches to improve public health outcomes. 

The five-year project, Global South Artificial Intelligence for Pandemic and Epidemic Preparedness and Response Network, is borne out of the promise to improve the health system response to infectious disease outbreaks across the global south through AI-driven solutions.  Additionally, the project will also address the commensurate need to examine important ethical, legal and social implications of these solutions on populations most susceptible to disease and compromised overall well-being. 

The goal is to ensure vulnerable and at-risk populations are included in disease outbreak management and policies, including racialized visible minorities, women, geographically isolated individuals, Indigenous communities, migrants and refugees, unhoused people and the socio-economically underserved. This grant will help York University join in the strategy to provide timely, accurate, and reliable data to inform evidence-based public health decision-making. 

Group of diverse researchers stand in various poses at the York University Keele campus

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest threats that humanity faces today. Decades of use, overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in animals and humans has led to the development of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that no longer respond to lifesaving antimicrobial medicines. 

Learn more about the project. 

Now a new $8.7-million initiative, based at the Global Strategy Lab at York University, will bridge science and policy to support evidence-informed AMR policymaking around the world. This initiative is led by York Professors Steven J. Hoffman and Susan Rogers Van Katwyk with support from leading York University researchers Professors Mathieu Poirier, Adrian Viens, Tarra Penny and University of Ottawa Professor Patrick Fafard. 

Learn more about this innovative initiative.