LOS ANGELES (April 12, 2022) The AHF Global Public Health Institute at the University of Miami and GISAID, the global data science initiative and primary data source of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday, enabling increased collaboration on genomic sequencing (GS) efforts in low- and middle-Income countries.
In addition to expanding GS capacity, the agreement between AHF and GISAID will foster high-level advocacy on the importance of GS to end the COVID-19 pandemic and leverage established educational programs offered by GISAID in support of the GS projects AHF is currently funding. The MoU was the first official cooperative measure between the two organizations.
“The collaboration between AHF and GISAID will further advance the rapid sharing of genome data in places that need our support,” says GISAID Vice President Ben Branda. “One critical element is that we continue to incentivize researchers and governments alike, by giving them meaningful equity in the data they generate. GISAID is grateful for AHF’s vision and financial support toward those joint efforts.”
Since the first whole-genome sequences were made available through GISAID in January 2020, data submitters from 210 countries and territories have collectively contributed over 10 million SARS-CoV-2 genomes to GISAID. This monumental global effort enabled the development of lifesaving countermeasures to COVID-19 at unprecedented speed, including the first vaccines and diagnostic tests to detect SARS-CoV-2.
“GISAID is a great representation of the type of cooperation and coordination that’s been needed yet sorely lacking throughout much of the last two years. I’m very pleased to inaugurate this relationship on behalf of AHF,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Genomic sequencing, in general, is the early warning system that we need if we have additional surges from COVID-19 and other diseases. It’s been our great privilege to fund 17 projects globally to help them scale up genomic sequencing in different places around the globe.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.7 million clients in 45 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare
The GISAID Initiative is a registered non-profit association and involves public-private partnerships with governmental public-health and academic institutions across the world. GISAID is known for its expertise in facilitating rapid sharing of trusted data, gained during previous, significant outbreaks, including the 2009 swine influenza pandemic and the 2013 avian influenza outbreak in China. To learn more about GISAID, please visit: www.gisaid.org