The UF Emerging Pathogens Institute provides a world-class research environment to facilitate interdisciplinary studies of emergence and control of human, animal and plant pathogens of concern to Florida, the nation and the world.
Florida’s residents and its two major industries — agriculture and tourism — are constantly threatened by new diseases such as the Zika virus, dengue fever and citrus greening that are unwittingly carried into the state via storms, imports and global visitors.
Florida’s unique geography and climate require unique disease prevention and control strategies. Development of such strategies, however, requires a strong research base with a global outlook. Pathogens do not respect national borders, and their control requires an awareness of what is happening around the world.
The Emerging Pathogens Institute fuses key disciplines to develop research, education and outreach capabilities designed to preserve Florida’s health and economy, and to prevent or contain new and reemerging diseases.
Emerging Pathogens Institute researchers seek to understand the genetic changes that lead to the emergence of new pathogens; to appreciate the complex interaction of environmental and host factors that permit these pathogens to spread within plant, animal and human populations; to use these data to develop and implement interventions to minimize risk of disease transmission; to train the next generation of investigators in emerging diseases; and to disseminate information about emerging pathogens and their control to the people of Florida.