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The WHO has declared the outbreak of a respiratory viral disease caused by a novel coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China as a public health emergency of international concern. Cases of this disease are now being reported from 25 different countries, including India. Gautam, will describe how scientists piece together information about such new diseases, assess their potential to become pandemics and develop strategies to deal with them. Thinking about epidemics requires addressing questions of culture, human rights, the environment, mathematics and public health policy. Gautam, will discuss some of these broader perspectives.
Gautam I Menon is currently Professor of Physics and Biology at Ashoka University, on leave from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai where he is a Professor in its Theoretical Physics and Computational Biology groups. He completed a PhD from IISc, Bangalore and did post-doctoral work at TIFR, Mumbai and Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada before joining IMSc. He was a Visiting Professor at the Mechanobiology Institute and the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore between 2011 and 2013. He was awarded the Swarnajayanti Fellowship of the DST in 2005 and the DAE-SRC Outstanding Researcher Fellowship in 2010. He has been named an Outstanding Referee of the American Physical Society (2011) as well as the Institute of Physics, UK (2016), and was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India) in 2019. In addition to his scientific interests, he is interested in science outreach, science policy and communication.