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Dr Gail Carson

Dr Gail Carson

Podcast interview

Outbreak, the clinical research response

A quick and efficient response to an outbreak requires strong central communication and coordination. Information needs to be shared quickly and then fed into patient care and policy. A wider approach, cutting across disciplines and specialities, helps limit the number of infected people and the impact on the economy.

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Gail Carson

Director of Network Development, ISARIC

  • Vice Chair of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN)


ISARIC (International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium) is a network of networks that was established in 2011 to ensure a rapid research response to outbreaks of pandemic potential. Having experienced the 2009 pandemic, SARS, and other outbreaks, many of ISARIC’s founding investigators acknowledged the need for a multidisciplinary and global approach that would encourage preparedness and collaboration in the interpandemic period.

ISARIC has, to date, gathered 52 networks from around the world  – all of whom are directly involved with outbreak response and preparedness locally, regionally, and internationally. Our membership includes clinicians, clinical researchers, clinical trials professionals, virologists, microbiologists, geneticists, epidemiologists and public health professionals and statisticians – active in 130+ countries across resource settings.

In order to ensure preparedness and an efficient response, ISARIC activities have aimed to fulfil its main objectives, which are to: 

  • develop standardised and globally accessible research tools
  • set up platforms for data collection and data sharing
  • establish a primed infrastructure to epidemic responses
  • enable research in resource poor settings

Since setting up, ISARIC has had the opportunity to implement these objectives in preparedness for and during outbreaks, such as for MERS-CoV, the West African Ebola outbreak, Zika and currently in response to COVID19.