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Title: Associate Vice President of Conservation Medicine
Work: EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY, USA
Dr. Jonathan Epstein is a veterinary epidemiologist and Associate Vice President of Conservation Medicine at EcoHealth Alliance, an NGO based in New York. His research activities are focused on understanding the ecology of emerging zoonotic viruses such as Nipah virus, Ebola virus, SARS Coronavirus and most recently the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. He currently works within a large consortium under the USAID-funded Emerging Pandemic Threats: PREDICT program, a global effort to establish an early warning system for emerging viruses with pandemic potential through targeted wildlife disease surveillance. He also directs the One Health Alliance of South Asia (OHASA), a multi-lateral science and policy network with members from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, focused on the control and prevention of trans-boundary zoonotic diseases. In 2004, Dr. Epstein was part of a team that discovered bats as the reservoir for SARS coronavirus in China and in 2012-13 investigated the origins of MERS CoV in Saudi Arabia. As part of his work he has conducted outbreak response and disease surveillance trainings in Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nepal, and Indonesia, helping to integrate wildlife surveillance into federal surveillance and outbreak response programs.
Dr. Epstein holds advisory positions on two committees in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN): the Wildlife Health Specialist Group and the Bat Species Specialist Group. He has been an invited speaker at the World Health Organization, The Institute of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health, and has testified before the US Congress on emerging zoonoses. He holds adjunct faculty positions at Tufts University (schools of veterinary medicine and medicine), Columbia University, and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
His research has been published in several leading scientific journals including Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; and his work has been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, and on 60 Minutes, NPR, and The Discovery Channel.