Peter Piot "special advisor" to Ursula von der Leyen


71-year-old Belgian virologist Peter Piot has been appointed Special Advisor to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on issues related to the coronavirus crisis. He was already a member of an expert group set up by the Commission to guide its medical and scientific response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

His role will be to advise the Commission in "supporting and leading research and innovation in the global fight against the pandemic". He will also identify gaps and inconsistencies in clinical management and treatment, and propose priorities, in particular in the organisation of health care and civil protection, as well as support measures at EU level.

As the holder of a doctorate in Microbiology from the University of Antwerp, the co-discoverer of the Ebola virus in 1976 and the former Executive Director of UNAIDS, Peter Piot is a true authority in his field and enjoys international recognition. He has taught at many universities and is currently Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

According to Ursula von der Leyen, the Professor's valuable experience will help guide the European Commission's actions to accelerate the development and deployment of coronavirus vaccines, diagnostics and treatments, and to develop a strategy to prepare for any future epidemic.