Epidemic Preparedness

COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic we face.

With the rapid urbanisation, increasing human mobility and climate change, we are at an increasing risk of emergence of “Disease X”, a highly infectious and deadly global epidemic caused by a pathogen currently unknown. Preparing in peacetime to respond as early as possible in an outbreak is the most effective way to safeguard against the dire consequences of infectious diseases.

Tackling infectious diseases is both a scientific and public health challenge that requires a multidisciplinary approach and concerted whole-of-government (WOG) efforts. The A*STAR Epidemic Preparedness Horizontal Technology Coordinating Office (EP HTCO) coordinates expertise and leverage relevant research capabilities and technologies across A*STAR and the local ecosystem, to drive translational infectious diseases research and develop a cohesive A*STAR programme on epidemic preparedness, aligned with national priorities. 

EP HTCO is open to collaborations in epidemic preparedness research for the development of new discoveries to improve health outcomes.


EP HTCO builds and strengthen innovative, multi-disciplinary research with potential impactful outcomes for epidemic preparedness across the four domains of detection, intervention, prevention and surveillance.

Detection - Diagnostic methods or biosensors to allow rapid, sensitive microbial identification, easily deployable for point-of-case testing, and cost-effective.
Intervention -Technologies to enable development of efficacious therapeutics or vaccines, against respiratory diseases, vector-borne diseases and anti-microbial resistance pathogens. 
Prevention - Develop technologies or measures to mitigate the spread
Surveillance - Develop enabling technologies for the continuous, systematic collection, analysis, modelling and interpretation of health-related data needed for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice


Watch: Supporting National Pandemic Preparedness with Multi-Disciplinary Capabilities and Technologies

Prof Lisa Ng, Executive Director at A*STAR’s Infectious Diseases Horizontal Technology Coordinating Office (ID HTCO) and Dr Fong Siew-Wai, Research Scientist at A*STAR’s ID Labs share how the HTCO brings together A*STAR’s multi-disciplinary capabilities to combat infectious diseases like COVID-19, mosquito-borne viruses and more.