GCEID has been established as a strategic collaborative partnership linking an education and research institute (Deakin University), a health care and research institute (Barwon Health) and an animal health research institute (CSIRO-AAHL), all situated within close proximity and with a proven record of world-class research collaborations.
GCEID is uniquely endowed with the broad set of disciplines needed for the proposed One-Health approach. GCEID combines the skills and knowledge of current research staff, and the specialized facilities available within the three Organizations to deliver innovative research outcomes and providing practical solutions to the risks posed by EIDs to this region of Australia, nationally and internationally.
Geelong hosts the world’s leading high containment laboratory, the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory. This facility contains a unique set of laboratories and animal accommodation that permits work on all classes of pathogens that affect humans and animals. It employs highly trained scientists and biosecurity specialists that enable research to be undertaken on any pathogen that threatens Australia or indeed elsewhere. Until recently the focus has clearly been on those diseases that affect animals, however recent additional facilities funded under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) have allowed work on a range of pathogens that affect humans, livestock and indeed wildlife to be conducted at the highest level of biosafety, bio-containment and biosecurity.
Waurn Ponds campus of Deakin University, which includes the recently established Medical Faculty and a science faculty with a thriving school of Life and Environmental sciences is located in Geelong. Within Deakin, particularly within the School of Medicine and the Centre for Integrative Ecology, there exists the essential broad range of multidisciplinary skills needed to underpin a One Health approach. This critically includes human health microbiologists, wildlife experts, epidemiologists, bio-informaticians, ecologists and social scientists. For a number of years, the research programs of Deakin have demonstrated a clear track record in these crucial One Health areas.
Geelong also hosts Barwon Health – the major health provide to the human population both in and around Geelong. This includes the Geelong Hospital with its considerable clinical research program involving infectious diseases as a major component. With an extensive outreach program and a focus on rural health and the development of decentralised health services this offers a unique “health services” component.