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Current Projects

Dissecting Pandemic-Prone Viral Families

Since 2018, the Center for Health Security has focused on the importance of pandemic preparedness—especially medical countermeasure (MCM) development—for several key viral families. Out of approximately 2 dozen viral families that have the capacity to infect humans, focusing the task of pandemic preparedness on those that are most likely to cause a pandemic provides tractability to a critical problem.

In this newest effort, the Center is delving deeper into these key viral families to elucidate and enumerate the aspects of several viral families that are most important for pandemic preparedness. Undertaking such analysis can help guide MCM development to proactively target research so that when an outbreak caused by a given viral family occurs, candidate countermeasures might be significantly advanced enough to blunt the development of a pandemic.

Of the 6 pandemic-prone viral families identified by the Center in prior work, 4 reports will be produced focused on the families of Picornaviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Pneumoviridae, and Adenoviridae. Specific reports on the Orthomyxoviridae and Coronaviridae families will not be part of this collection, as both groups have robust MCMs either already available or in development.   

This site will be updated as new developments warrant.

Project team lead: Amesh Adalja, MD

Project supported by: Open Philanthropy

Areas of Focus:

  • Medical and Public Health Preparedness and Response
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases and Epidemics



Dissecting Pandemic-Prone Viral Families


Volume 1

Dissecting Pandemic-Prone Viral Families Volume 1: The Picornaviridae

Read Volume 1


Volume 2

Dissecting Pandemic-Prone Viral Families Volume 2: The Paramyxoviridae

Read Volume 2


Volume 3

Dissecting Pandemic-Prone Viral Families Volume 3: The Adenoviridae

Read Volume 3


Volume 4

Dissecting Pandemic-Prone Viral Families Volume 4: The Pneumoviridae

Read Volume 4