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Emerging and reemerging viruses pose a great threat to the entire world. Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, previous viruses such as SARS-CoV-1, avian and newly drifted human influenza viruses, enterovirus, and zika viruses have severely threatened human health and have a huge socioeconomic, transportation, ecological, and education impact. Mankind must face the resurgence of these viruses and may even face attacks by other novel viruses. Since the Research Center for Emerging Viral Infections (RCEVI) at Chang Gung University was founded in 2009, it has studied these mutation-prone RNA viruses for a long period of time (causes of emerging and reemerging infections). The results of talent development contributed greatly in the once-in-100-years COVID-19 pandemic, including rapid virus identification, isolation of virus strains, gene database construction for follow-up on infection sources, and vaccine and antiviral research and developments. We hope to operate this research center in a sustainable manner and continue talent development through the collaboration of experts from different fields to complete the following missions:
(1) Identification of emerging viral infections: Combining the latest biotechnology and artificial intelligence to develop novel diagnostic reagents for clinical use.
(2) Research on emerging viruses: Understanding the pathogenesis of emerging viruses at a molecular level and cellular level, animal models to human trials, combining molecular virology, immunology, information science, biomedical engineering, and clinical medicine, and developing methods to relieve and treat emerging infections.
(3) Establishing a bridge between basic science and clinical science: Our center has established a good collaborative model with Chang Gung Hospital since the enterovirus 71 epidemic in Taiwan in 1998 and collaboration was further strengthened in the COVID-19 pandemic. In the future, potential antiviral drugs or treatments will be pushed for clinical application. Clinical phenomena are also understood through basic research, allowing us to help patients.
(4) Solid international collaboration is used to promote research on emerging viral infections: Currently, the center has joined the International Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (CREID) Network and we will continue to exchange researchers and develop local and overseas talents. For example, in this COVID-19 pandemic, efficient collaboration was established within the shortest possible time to jointly combat the pandemic.