Global Infection – Professor David Blackbourn transcript

Professor David Blackbourn discusses his work into the Global Infection initiative within the College of Medical and dental Sciences at The University of Birmingham

Title:   Global Infection – Professor David Blackbourn
Duration:  2.11 mins
Speaker Names (if given):   S1 Professor David Blackbourn – Professor of Virology

S1   My own research is on human viruses that cause disease, particularly viruses that cause cancer of humans – and we know that about 1 in 6 cancers worldwide are caused by infectious agents and viruses are the largest contributor. Within the developing world about 1 in 4 cancers are caused by infectious agents and again, the large majority are viruses. 

There are viruses that are appearing in mankind causing new diseases and those viruses we call ‘emerging viruses’ and the Global Infections Initiative is to recruit people who are already experts in the study of these emerging viruses and bring them to Birmingham to develop our virology expertise even further. By understanding how viruses cause disease, we can then start to develop new drugs to prevent those diseases or vaccines to prevent infection with those viruses that cause the diseases. So overall the long-term outcome of the Global Infection Initiative is to improve human healthcare. 

The University of Birmingham already has a fantastic collection of internationally recognised virologists. They have similar research interests to my own for example, and are collaborative and interactive and this creates a dynamic environment that allows us to do research that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.  So the large population and the diversity of that population, the central local of Birmingham, all contribute to our being able to recruit really good people in the laboratory.