Global Center for Pathogen & Human Health Research
The Global Center for Pathogen & Human Health Research, headquartered in Cleveland and spanning Cleveland Clinic’s international footprint, will bring together a research team to broaden understanding of viral pathogens and the human immune response toward preparing and protecting against future public health threats.
While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic exposed how unprepared the world was for a proactive pandemic response and highlighted the need to study pathogens in new ways, this new center puts Ohio at the epicenter of the world for research and innovation into pathogens and viruses that emerge as a result of globalization in the modern world.
The Center will build on Lerner Research Institute’s long-standing reputation for innovation in virology and immune-related research and its seamless integration and collaboration with multidisciplinary research teams across Cleveland Clinic.
The Center is organized around six critical programs; their highly collaborative, integrated teams set the Center apart from other pathogens research efforts.
Virus & Immune Discovery
Broaden understanding of viral pathogens and the human immune response, which will reveal new ways to develop diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines
Develop a genome center and enhance multi-omics capabilities to combine genetic and other information and analyses with clinical and environmental patient data and technologies, helping to optimize treatments for individual patients and diseases
People & Population Studies
Use advanced surveillance and predictive analytics to understand how socioeconomic factors and policy affect pathogens in our communities and the effectiveness of interventions to reduce their impact
Rapidly develop, characterize, validate and deploy diagnostic tests to enable a faster, more accurate response to the next pandemic and to allow public health systems to better manage community spread and allow providers to enhance patient care
Technology Development, Treatments & Vaccines
Apply innovative technologies to create a pipeline of new molecular and cellular therapeutics and vaccines, as well as to expedite access for patients to receive needed treatments and preventives for emerging pathogens and virus-induced diseases
Clinical Application & Healthcare Deliverables
Develop digital health technologies and patient support tools to ensure scientific discovery around emerging and re-emerging pathogens translates into safe and effective treatments for patients in Ohio and globally
The Center is made possible, in part, by support from JobsOhio, the State of Ohio’s economic development corporation. With $200 million from Ohio and JobsOhio—and an additional $300 million co-invested by Cleveland Clinic—the Center will help build a pipeline of new tests, vaccines and treatments that will lead to the creation of new start-up technology companies and attract other business to Cleveland and Ohio. As part of the Cleveland Innovation District, the Center is anticipated to create an estimated 1,000 new jobs at Cleveland Clinic and an additional 7,500 jobs in Ohio. The project represents the largest economic development investment of its kind ever made in Northeast Ohio by the State.
Our New Recruits
Jae Jung, PhD, is Director of the Global Center for Pathogen & Human Health Research. He is an internationally renowned expert in virology and virus-induced cancers. He developed one of the first preclinical models to study SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission and is currently working to develop a thermostable COVID-19 vaccine.
Tim Chan, MD, PhD, is the Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Immunotherapy & Precision Immuno-Oncology. He is a global leader in precision immune-oncology and a pioneer in using genomics to determine which patients will respond best to certain immunotherapies.
Thaddeus Stappenbeck, MD, PhD, is Chair of Lerner Research Institute’s Department of Inflammation & Immunity. He is an expert in microbial interactions in inflammatory diseases and studies the link between infectious and digestive diseases. He will help steer the Center’s translational efforts to develop of new diagnostic tests and therapies.
Michaela Gack, PhD, is Scientific Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Florida Research & Innovation Center. Her research focuses on understanding how the intricate interplay between viruses and the host’s immune system impacts the outcome of viral infection and disease, which is essential for developing antivirals and vaccines.
Viruses do not care about borders. The global threat requires a global solution. As such, collaborating with researchers and clinicians from across the entire global Cleveland Clinic enterprise will be critical to the Center’s work.
Cleveland Clinic COVID-19 Research
Scientists, researchers and clinicians from all across Cleveland Clinic have been working together since very early in the pandemic to advance knowledge of treatments and prevention strategies to overcome COVID-19.
“This unique public-private collaboration represents our commitment to job creation in Cleveland as well to research and solve deadly threats to our health, economy and communities. This unparalleled investment in the Global Center for Pathogen & Human Health Research will drive workforce development while leveraging Cleveland Clinic’s robust research infrastructure to study pathogens in novel ways and move technology rapidly from the lab to drug and vaccine development."
Serpil Erzurum, MD, Chief Research & Academic Research Officer