Life & Health R&D Forum: infectious diseases and vaccination

15 Aug 2013

Location: Beijing, China; organised by Swiss Re, the Embassy of Switzerland in China and swissnex China

About the event

Swiss Re, one of the world’s largest re/insurers, in collaboration with swissnex China, a platform of the Swiss Embassy focusing on science, education and innovation, cordially invite you to this half-day conference, to be held at The Lakeview Hotel of Peking University (PKU) in Beijing.


Infectious diseases act to cause illness or mortality in a wide variety of ways, and move through populations at greatly varying speeds. Some, such as pandemic influenza and SARS, are or were rapidly spreading infections, but the outcomes were vastly different, due to disease characteristics and the ability of governments and the public to respond. Other diseases such as Hepatitis B spread more slowly, cause disease many years in the future, and can be contained by using vaccines. Still others, such as HIV, spread fairly slowly, but currently depend on behavioral measures for containment.

This seminar brings together experts in a variety of diseases to share knowledge and discuss responses. Eminent speakers from China and Swiss Re will address pandemic flu, SARS, Hepatitis B, HIV, and a number of other major diseases. By bringing together this panel, and in discussion with invited participants, we hope to better understand the effects of various strategies to contain and mitigate the effects of infectious diseases in general.

Target audience

Leading experts in the field of epidemiology - those involved in detection, containment, prevention, and treatment of contagious disease, and insurance industry representatives heading mortality and longevity research / pricing units.

Note: This event may be photographed, filmed and /or recorded. A summary of the event, pictures and/or a video of the event in which you may appear may be posted and made available on the Centre's, Swiss Re’s and swissnex China's internal and external websites and in printed materials.


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Times indicated are for China Standard Time (CST)


Welcome coffee and registration


H.E. Alain Berset, Swiss Federal Councillor, Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs and Health Minister
Stephen Kramer, Head of Epidemiological Research, Swiss Re


Making sense of the threat: Swiss Re's Pandemic Influenza Model and understanding disease interventions
Stephen Kramer, Head of Epidemiological Research, Swiss Re


Professor Joseph J. Y. Sung, Vice-Chancellor & President, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; SARS Task Force Leader in 2003


Pandemic influenza: recent pandemic flu threats and responses in China
Xiaofeng Liang, Professor in Epidemiology, Deputy Director, Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Coffee break


A success story: scaling up hepatitis B vaccination with the support of GAVI Alliance (formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) in China
Professor CUI Fuqiang, Deputy Director, National Immunization Program (NIM); Director, Hepatitis Division, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Emerging infectious diseases and the risk of mortality shocks
Urs Widmer, Senior Medical Officer, Swiss Re


Panel discussion
Moderated by Stephen Kramer, Head of Epidemiological Research, Swiss Re





Infectious diseases are back on the agenda, stated Stephen Kramer, in the first presentation of the day. Over a period spanning decades mortality rates have declined substantially in much of the world. Against a backdrop of lower mortality, certain infectious diseases have begun to stand out again. Infectious disease play a role both over the longer term, as is the case for HIV, or over the short term as a shock to mortality or morbidity, such as in the case of a novel influenza virus. While these don't affect all ages, they do affect particular critical age groups, especially those of working age or young adults.

Read the whole summary