Indian-origin Nobel Laureate Venki Ramakrishnan Chairs UK’s Covid-19 Expert Group

Prime News, International, (London), April 18:-Professor Venki Ramakrishnan, the Indian-origin Nobel laureate and chair of the UK’s Royal Society, is chairing a committee of high-level experts as part of a new scientific initiative to analyse the emerging data from countries around the world to identify the most important factors that can help slow the spread of coronavirus as well as find long-term solutions to the pandemic.

The Royal Society, the world’s oldest independent scientific academy, said on Friday that its new data analytics initiative will complement existing efforts to guide the UK’s response to coronavirus.

Ramakrishnan, 67, who was born in Tamil Nadu, was in 2009 awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with two others.

DELVE: Data Evaluation and Learning for Viral Epidemics is a multi-disciplinary group, convened by the Royal Society, to support a data-driven approach to learning from the different approaches countries are taking to managing the pandemic, the society said.

This effort has been discussed with and welcomed by government, who have arranged for it to provide input through SAGE, its scientific advisory group for emergencies, it said.

DELVE will analyse national and international data to determine the effect of different measures and strategies on a range of public health, social and economic outcomes.

It will also use emerging sources of data as new evidence from the unfolding pandemic comes to light and ensure that the work of this group is coordinated with others and communicated as necessary, both nationally and internationally.

This work will be carried out by three cross-disciplinary groups including a working group, chaired by Indian-origin Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh Devi Sridhar and made up of a team of data scientists and subject-matter experts to carry out data analysis, synthesis of results and rapid review.

An advisory group of experts to provide review and feedback and a committee of a high-level expert group to oversee the work and communicate findings to the government’s Chief Scientific Advisor and his networks in government.

Besides Venki Ramakrishnan, the President of the Royal Society, the 14-member expert committee also includes his sister Lalita Ramakrishnan, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases and Head of Molecular Immunity Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, and Professor Sridhar.

The Royal Society said it is also convening a Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic (RAMP) initiative to support efforts to model the novel coronavirus pandemic.

RAMP is bringing modelling expertise from areas other than pandemic modelling to support the pandemic modelling community already working on COVID-19.

More than 14,500 people have died of coronavirus in the UK.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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