In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, a new agency for research into emerging infectious diseases was created within INSERM (the National Medical Research Institute) in early January, 2021. As decreed by the government, its role will be to reinforce pluri-disciplinary biomedical research into emerging infectious diseases, such as Ebola, Chikungunya and Zika.
Reporting to both the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the Ministry of Solidarity and Health, the agency will also be responsible for improving the public response to the Covid-19 epidemic in scientific terms.
Understanding emerging diseases
The new entity, named ANRS, will coordinate and finance scientific research into emerging infectious diseases, AIDS, STDs, and viral hepatitis. So it will pair adapted scientific programming with an operational capacity to launch and manage calls for projects.
The Agency will be presided by Yazdan Yazdanpanah, the head of the infectious and tropical diseases unit at Bichat Hospital (part of the Paris Public Hospital system) and member of the Covid-19 scientific advisory board. It will combine the scientific expertise and reactivity of the Inserm-REACTing consortium with the experience and operational capacity of the National Agency for AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Research.
Above all, this ambitious and much-needed new agency will contribute to understanding how these diseases emerge and how to treat them, and be there in case of a future health crisis.