BIST Colloquium Series 2020-21: Prof. Dr. Oscar Franco

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COVID-19: (my) history of a pandemia

by Prof. Dr. Oscar Franco of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)


By now Covid19 needs no introduction. Although it took most (if not all) of us unprepared it is not the first time humanity faces a global threat nor will it be the last. The global rise in cases and the enormous impact that the pandemic has had in our wellbeing, health and economy has been accompanied with an equivalent rise in scientific efforts to unravel the mysteries of this -still- unknown virus. Where did it start and when? How did it spread? Would we have further waves? How can we treat it? When will we have a solution? And how would we live until the solution arrives? are still questions that remain unanswered. Although I also don’t have answers to these questions during this seminar, I will share with you my personal experience, opinions and expectations regarding this life changing event.


Prof. Oscar H. Franco is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Director of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) at the University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Furthermore, Oscar is Adjunct Professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and ErasmusMC, Rotterdam, and scientific advisor for the French television channel France24. Prof. Franco has published over 700 publications and has a H-index of 93.

Prof. Franco obtained his MD at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia in 1998. In 2001 he moved to the Netherlands to complete MSc and DSc degrees in clinical epidemiology and a PhD in public health and cardiovascular disease prevention (2005) at the Erasmus University Medical Center. Following a postdoc at Erasmus MC, he moved to the UK where he was a senior public health epidemiologist at Unilever England, assistant professor of public health at the University of Warwick, and then director of the MPhil program and clinical lecturer in public health at the University of Cambridge. In 2012 Prof. Franco returned to ErasmusMC where he worked as professor of preventive medicine and the principal investigator of the cardiovascular epidemiology group. He also founded and directed the Rotterdam Intergenerational Ageing Research Center, ErasmusAGE, and he was cofounder and CEO of Erasmus Epidemiology Resources.

A fellow of, inter alia, the European Society of Cardiology and St Edmunds’ College at the University of Cambridge, Prof. Franco was awarded the Dutch national public health prize of 2005.


Speaker invited by ICN2

The colloquium is part of the BIST Master of Research curriculum but is also open and free for anyone interested in participating.


Register now
The session will be hosted through Zoom online conference application. If you have not used this platform previously, you will be prompted to download the software to access the meeting (the process is automatic and does not require more than one minute).


Next colloquia will be:


November 9 – Georgia Theano Papadakis of Stanford University

November 16 – Rogério Rosenfeld of Universidade Estadual Paulista