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7 May 2020 Statement

Through these partnerships and largely multi-lateral research collaborations, CSIRO delivers great science not only for the benefit of Australia and all Australians, but for millions of people around the globe. To date our work has been vital in fighting terrible diseases such as Ebola and the Hendra virus.

Professor Trevor Drew is a world-leading expert in the field of infectious diseases and animal health. He is leading a team of dedicated scientists at CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness in Geelong who are working around-the-clock to understand and fight the virus which causes COVID-19.

Under Professor Drew’s stewardship, this team alongside others across CSIRO have progressed the COVID-19 vaccine work to a point that would normally take years to reach, in just three months.

Before joining CSIRO in 2018, Professor Drew was the Lead Scientist for the Animal and Plant Health Agency in the UK. He was awarded an OBE in 2015 in recognition of his services to animal health and welfare and his outstanding contribution to research and control of viral diseases at a national and global level, and the Gold Medal of the World Organisation of Animal Health in 2019, for outstanding services to international veterinary science. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed research papers.

Today, News Limited have published an article regarding Professor Drew’s working relationships with Chinese scientists and research institutions. The article states that: “There is no suggestion Dr Drew has engaged in any untoward or unethical research through his relationship with Dr Tu,” however the story could easily be considered as inferring otherwise, which is unfounded and irresponsible.

At a time when facts and evidence have never been more important, Professor Drew:

  • was invited to become a Guest Professor at Jilin University, and held this honorary position from 2009 – 2014. He has visited Jilin University twice, to give seminars to students on Swine Fever
  • is a leading expert for the World Organisation for Animal Health (an intergovernmental organisation coordinating, supporting and promoting animal disease control around the world) and alongside other eminent scientists from across the globe, has previously worked with Tu Changchun on projects to improve the capacity of China and other countries in the prevention, detection and control of rabies and Swine Fever
  • has professional relationships with a large number of eminent international scientists globally.

Information about CSIRO’s global partnerships, including China, is publicly available on our website.

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