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Meet Dr Victoria Brookes

Epidemiologist, University of Sydney

Can you please tell us about your work?

I am an infectious disease epidemiologist. I teach at the Sydney School of Veterinary Science, and I research and promote evidence-based practice in One Health, focusing on emerging and neglected infectious diseases in the Asia-Pacific region. I trained as a veterinarian at the University of Edinburgh. I spent several years in practice, including work on responses to major animal disease outbreaks: foot and mouth disease in the UK in 2001 and equine influenza in Australia in 2007. 

My PhD was completed at The University of Sydney, and I recently completed a Master in Public Health and Tropical Medicine at James Cook University. This gives me insight into the approach to health from a human health perspective which supports my teaching and research in One Health. 

As well as my teaching and research responsibilities, I am also a Section Editor (One Health) for Plos Neglected Tropical Diseasesand a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

What is your role in the APCOVE project?

I am an active member of APCOVE. As well as leading the development of the Emerging Infectious Disease e-learning module (E02), I assisted in the design and development of ‘Diagnostic Tests’ (A05) and ‘Biosecurity’ (E04) and contributed to ‘Foot-and-Mouth Disease Outbreak in Myanmar’ (B05) and ‘Developing an Evidence-based Control Strategy for Rabies by Ranking its Exposure Sources’ (E07).

I am also a member of the Advisory Committee, regularly meeting with our international partners at WHO, FAO, TEPHINET, CDC, NCEPH, WOAH, Indo-Pacific CHS, and the R-FETPV Coordination Unit, Thailand. Currently, I am leading the research support team for the projects in Papua New Guinea, where we have highly motivated, knowledgeable, and skilled in-country partners. Their projects extend across terrestrial and aquatic species, including zoonoses and diseases with important ecosystem factors, demonstrating the diversity of health issues we face in our region, and the value of a One Health approach

Why are you passionate about your work in APCOVE? 

I am passionate about my work with APCOVE because it promotes Health for All bydevelopment of knowledge and skills in the veterinary workforce throughout our Asia-Pacific region. This One Health approach is critical for global sustainability as we face ecosystem change and increasing rates of emergence of infectious diseases. The Asia-Pacific region is vitally important due to both driving ecosystem change, and also being home to many highly vulnerable populations, especially in the Pacific Islands region. APCOVE partners with national and international organisations to combine expertise across animal, human and ecosystem health, and I believe that this sustained effort will improve prevention, detection and response to infectious disease outbreaks and improve the livelihoods of many in our region.

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