Capacity building based on identified needs and guided by IHR requirements. 

The WHO Collaborating Centre possesses a wealth of experience in laboratory research and has played a key role in developing, coordinating, and facilitating a range of international workshops, training courses, and twinning partnerships. These initiatives aim to enhance capacity and capability to establish accurate, safe, and secure expert laboratory systems.

Our focus extends to both targeted and non-targeted detection methods. For targeted detection, we aim to strengthen laboratories’ abilities to identify specific species or genera of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. We also recognise the importance of non-targeted detection approaches such as agnostic sequencing and preparation for potential future diseases (referred to as Disease “X”).

In close collaboration with the World Health Organization, our team has been instrumental in developinga crucial guidance document titled “Preparing for Emergencies – A Guidance for Health Laboratories.” This document provides invaluable considerations for public health laboratories to enhance their response capabilities when faced with emerging pathogens or disruptive events that impact laboratory operations.

Our expertise extends to coordinating external quality assessments through proficiency panels. This includes offering assistance and guidance in implementing necessary corrective actions when needed.

Our team members possess extensive experience in laboratory capacity and capability building in high, middle, and low-resource settings worldwide and suppurt these endeavours. Their expertise ensures that our activities are tailored to address the unique challenges laboratories face in such contexts.

Through these multifaceted efforts, we are dedicated to advancing global laboratory capabilities and fostering preparedness for a wide range of health emergencies and challenges.

Leading staff and expertise

Leading staff Expertise
Ingmar Janse, PhD High Throughput Sequencing and Bioinformatics; Molecular Diagnostics in
One Health Settings; Biosafety & Biosecurity; Outbreak Preparedness & Response
Iris Vennis, MSc Biorisk Management & Assessment;  High-Containment Laboratory
Capacity Building; Pandemic & CBRN Chemical Biological Radiology and nuclear (Chemical Biological Radiology and nuclear) Preparedness
Jérôme Lock-Wah-Hoon, MSc Laboratory Diagnostics; Outbreak Preparedness & Response; Global
Health Intatives
Joris Sprokholt, PhD Risk Assessment; Training Development & Delivery; High-Containment
Laboratory Capacity Building
Lance Presser, PhD Laboratory Diagnostics & Systems; Capacity Building for Preparedness &
Rik Bleijs, PhD Biorisk Management & Assessment; National Inventory of Dangerous
Pathogens; Biosafety, Biosecurity, & Dual-Use Analysis
Robert ten Hove, PhD Labortaory Diagnostics & Infectious Diseases; Outbreak Preparedness &
Response; Training Development & Delivery
Saskia Rutjes, PhD Biosafety & Biosecurity Risk Assessment; Molecular Diagnostics in
One Health Settings; Biorisk Management & CBRN Preparedness
Sjors Schulpen, PhD Laboratory Molecular Diagnostics; CBRN Response & High-Containment
Labs; Biosecurity, Biosafety, Dual-Use, & Biorisk Management