Welcome letter from the ExCO

Dear delegate,

Foot and mouth disease remains a global challenge with many countries suffering numerous outbreaks every year, often despite investments into control actions and vaccines. However, for many resource poor countries there are numerous other more pressing priorities, resulting in farmers bearing the brunt of the disease and its impact on their livelihoods and food security. On the other side of the scale, we have those countries that are free from FMD and invest significantly into preventing any accidental or deliberate introduction that could have devastating impacts on their livestock export markets.

It has always been the vision that the Global Foot and Mouth Disease Research Alliance (GFRA) will provide solutions to these challenges. We realize that novel tools and approaches are necessary to assist in the global effort to control FMD. In addition, there is strength in numbers and therefore a networking approach is best suited for this complex challenge. The GFRA has been a flagship in demonstrating how collaborations can lead to improved vaccines (at least one of them now registered for emergency use), and how a better understanding of the immune responses to vaccination and infection and virus structure can be used to design vaccines.

This year, the GFRA2019 conference is being held in beautiful Bangkok, Thailand - a region where FMD is an ongoing challenge. You are invited to share your research results with the broader FMD scientific community and catch up with colleagues. We also encourage you to come and make new friends and explore the possibility of new collaborations. Together we can make a difference.

Dr. Wilna Vosloo
GFRA Chief Executive Officer
Global Foot and Mouth Disease Research Alliance

Prof Dachrit Nilubol