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“The Colombia-Wisconsin One Health Effort: Innovation and the Study of Emerging Diseases”

March 9, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

About the presentation: The current COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of studying infectious diseases before they become a major threat to humankind. The UW-Madison has had ongoing research collaborations in Colombia for the study of tropical diseases for ~50 years. In 2018, UW-Madison entered a three-way agreement with Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Ruta N (non-profit philanthropic organization) to create the Colombia/Wisconsin One-Health Consortium (CWOHC) and generate knowledge and innovation in science and technology. This consortium is without precedent in Colombia and the region. The “One Health” concept holds that human, animal, and environmental health are deeply interconnected. This seminar will highlight: 1) The importance of Colombia in the study of emerging infectious diseases; 3) the role of science and innovation in the transformation of the city of Medellin, going from one of the most violent cities to be declared as the World’s Most Innovative City; and 3) the ongoing work of the One Health Genomic Laboratory supporting the Colombian government and assisting vulnerable populations towards the control of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the presenters:  Presented by Juan Pablo Hernandez, Leonor Hidalgo Ciro, and Jorge Osorio

Juan P. Hernandez-Ortiz

Juan Pablo Hernandez-Ortiz is a Professor at the Department of Materials and Nanotechnology at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Medellín.  He is the co-Director of the Colombia/Wisconsin One-Health Consortium and the One-Health Genomic Laboratory. Professor Hernandez-Ortiz received his Mechanical Engineering Degree from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellin, Colombia in 1998. He did his Ph.D. studies, in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Chemical Engineering, at UW-Madison.  In 2004, he started his postdoctoral training at UW-Madison in Chemical and Biological Engineering.  In 2007, he joined the Department of Materials and Nanotechnology as an Assistant Professor and became the youngest person to become a Full Professor at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in 2013. He has authored and co-authored more than 90 articles and advised 16 graduate students. His field of action in biophysics started several years ago and it was centered on designing devices for an efficient and high-resolution presentation of long DNA molecules towards single-molecule genome analysis and nematic-based biological sensors. During the last decade, Professor Hernández-Ortiz has dedicated his research efforts in guided molecular engineering towards personalized medicine platforms for infectious diseases, cancer, and tropical pathologies. He has established fever clinics and disease monitoring in multiple regions of Colombia, including Cucuta, Cali, Medellin, Villavicencio, and Leticia. The current diseases attended by his group are arboviruses (Dengue, Zika, Chikungunya, and Yellow Fever), influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and solid-tumor cancer diseases.


Leonor Hidalgo Ciro

Leonor Hidalgo Ciro is a key member of the senior management team at Ruta N Corporation, a non-profit organization focused on innovation for the city of Medellin. She is responsible for the design and execution of projects and policies with the overall goal of improving quality of life through innovation. She has a degree in law from the University of Antioquia and an MA in political studies from the National University of Colombia. She has more than 15 years as a public servant, Currently, she is a Fulbright fellow at Special Program for Urban and Regional Planning at MIT.




Dr. Jorge Osorio, DVM

Dr. Jorge Osorio, DVM, MS, PhD, is a Full Professor in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, at UW-Madison. Dr Osorio has had a lengthy career in the medical sciences, ranging from microbiology, field epidemiological studies, vaccinations, and vector control programs. He is the co-Director of a Colombia-Wisconsin One Health Consortium, a joint effort between the University of Wisconsin and many institutions in Colombia that is studying emerging diseases and One-Health issues. Dr. Osorio was also a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Inviragen, a biotechnology company that developed a novel chimeric tetravalent dengue vaccine that recently completed successfully Phase 3 clinical trials. He also developed vaccines against chikungunya, influenza, Zika, rabies, plague, and many other emerging infectious diseases. Dr. Osorio was also the Vice-President of Research and Vice-President of Scientific Affairs for the Vaccine Business Division of Takeda Pharmaceuticals. He has over 30 years of experience in research and more than 140 scientific publications in peer review international journals. In addition to Inviragen and Takeda, his industry career included positions at Heska Corporation (Ft. Collins, CO), Merial LTD (Athens, GA), and Chiron-Powderject Vaccines (Madison, WI). Currently, Dr. Osorio and his colleagues at UW-Madison are establishing a state-of-the-art research group that uses molecular approaches to design novel vaccines and unravel host-pathogen interactions for emerging diseases.

Please register HERE. Once you are registered, you will have access to the Zoom meeting shortly before the presentation begins.


March 9, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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