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European Public Health Microbiology Training Programme

The Robert Koch-Institute has been a training site of the European Public Health Microbiology Training Programme (EUPHEM) since September 2009. EUPHEM is a two-year postgraduate qualification programme that aims to provide training for scientists with experience in microbiology and a keen interest in public health in the core areas of public health microbiology (PHM):

  • Public Health Microbiology Management and Communication
  • Applied microbiology and laboratory investigations
  • Epidemiological investigations (Surveillance and Outbreak investigation)
  • Biorisk Management
  • Quality Management
  • Applied PHM research
  • Teaching and pedagogical skills

This new public health microbiology training programme is coordinated and funded by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and is closely linked to its sister programme, the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET). The training consists mainly of learning by doing (projects) aimed at finding and implementing appropriate action as a public health microbiologist when working in a public health institution, e.g. reference diagnostics, surveillance, preparedness, response activities. The fellows work under the supervision of experienced laboratory specialists and epidemiologists of our institution, and will collaborate with fellows from our Postgraduate Training for Applied Epidemiology (PAE) course.

Background

PHM is a cross-cutting area that spans the fields of human, animal, food, water, and environmental microbiology, with a focus on human health and disease. Public health microbiology laboratories play a central role in detection, monitoring, outbreak response, and are providing scientific evidence to prevent and control infectious diseases. European preparedness for responding to threats by new and known infectious diseases requires a sustainable infrastructure capable of detecting, diagnosing, and controlling infectious disease problems, including design of prevention, treatment and infection control strategies. A range of expertise is necessary to fulfil these requirements including epidemiology and public health microbiology. Public health microbiology is required to provide access to scientists with expertise/experience of the important communicable diseases at the regional, national and international level for mounting a rapid response to emerging health threats, planning appropriate strategies for prevention, assess existing prevention disciplines in place/use, develop or assist in development of microbiological guidelines, evaluate/develop new diagnostic tools, assess risks of microbes or their products, provide necessary information to policy makers related to above issues from a microbiology perspective.

Date: 05.10.2012