According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the capacity for pathogen genomics around the world is advancing rapidly.  And while advances are welcome, there are inequities in access to new technologies in global surveillance that put us all at risk.

Join us for the next session in our ongoing Data Literacy Series as Dr. Vasee Moorthy presents the WHO Guiding Principles for Pathogen Genome Data Sharing.  These principles chart a path for timely sharing of pathogen genome data, while acknowledging the legitimate concerns and needs of scientists around the world that are the originators of this data.  

As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and begins to build a stronger global architecture for health emergency preparedness and response, these guiding principles are a much-needed tool for constructing a more equitable and transparent global system that keeps us all safer.


  • What the WHO Guiding principles for pathogen genome data sharing are
  • Why real-time pathogen data sharing is crucial and what was learned in the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How inequities in access to new technologies for pathogen genomics can lead to blind spots in global surveillance that put us all at risk
  • Why global standards for sharing pathogen genomic data are necessary


Genome BC is thrilled to present our ongoing series on Data Literacy. This series aims to bring national and international experts together to help deepen our understanding of different data related initiatives, standards and resources.

Developing a better shared understanding of benefits and risks related to data will help advance data collection, sharing and use in sectors such as health, agrifood and natural resources. For example, much of the datasets resulting from Genome BC funded projects have value and utility beyond the purpose for which they are originally generated. Unlocking their potential is an interdisciplinary and translational challenge which requires the engagement of multiple stakeholders, including funders, data providers, innovators, researchers and end users.

OUR Speaker

Vasee Moorthy
Dr. Vasee Moorthy is an immunologist, a malaria researcher and a vaccine researcher. After five years conducting clinical research in sub-Saharan Africa, two years working as a research funder in Washington DC and a career as a clinical academic at the University of Oxford, he has worked at the World Health Organization since 2008.

Dr. Moorthy is currently a senior adviser in the science division, a corporate division created by Dr. Tedros in 2018 to place science and evidence at the heart of everything WHO does. Dr. Moorthy became engaged in discussions around data sharing policy when he worked at WHO as part of the ebola research response from 2014 to 2016. Since that time, it has been clear that while capacities are advancing rapidly for pathogen genomics, the agreement about modalities for timely, geographically representative and high quality sharing of pathogen genome data was not advancing at the same pace as the technology. This is the background to his coordinating work within WHO at the science to policy interface to advance, through broad consultative processes, international norms and standards around pathogen genome data sharing.

He has a first class honours degree in Medical Sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a clinical medicine degree and PhD from the University of Oxford, UK. He is a specialist internal medicine and subspecialist infectious diseases physician.
Vasee Moorthy