Anneliese Depoux from Paris and Tobias Kurth from Berlin have complemented the directors board since January 2016 – Interview

The CVV has been in operation for three years now. What, in your opinion have been the main achievements in this period?

AD: The Centre Virchow-Villermé produced in 3 years 17 MOOCs. The firsts four MOOCs were produced in partnership with INRIA and the Université Paris Descartes. Today, the entire MOOC production is done autonomously by the CVV (teacher selection, pedagogical engineering, script writing, filming and editing). By February 2016, almost 50,000 participants had participated in a MOOC produced by the CVV. When I look at the figure, I would say that the CVV has succeeded in filling educational gaps and all the team can be proud of having met this challenge. In addition to offering educational material, the CVV has become an expert in terms of MOOC production, having been successfully awarded an ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) call for project IDEFI-N grant to produce the CVV #MOOCLive project.

Finally I think that one of the greatest achievement of CVV is the strong network of collaborators it has developed, among invited professors, interns and occasional collaborators, who dedicate themselves to advancing the work of the CVV.


TK: We achieved to raise awareness for the Center by organizing a series of Franco-German workshops and conferences in Berlin and Paris, attended by participants from academia, governmental, non-governmental and private organizations. These activities – to be continued in the years to come – were first steps towards our overarching goal to put the Public Health Domain on the French – German agenda and to foster leadership in European and global health aspects.


All CVV directors have different professional backgrounds. What do you think will be your contribution to the further development of the CVV?

AD: I think that it is important that interdisciplinarity, one of the key word of the CVV constitution, is represented at an executive level. This shows a real willpower in developing projects outside of the box. I will definitely contribute in reinforcing the expertise of CVV in the field of information and communications sciences that are crucial for improving public and global health policies. This should contribute on enhancing and reinforcing the CVV network and actions.


TK: I hope that I can support the CVV with my expertise in causal population health sciences and to develop teaching modules to train the next generation of experts addressing important aspects of population health.


One special feature of the CVV is the Franco-German cooperation. How do you intend to further strengthen this “unique selling proposition”?

AD: The Centre Virchow-Villermé will continue to fund researchers’ mobility, especially of young researchers. I would like to develop more bilateral workshops similar to the one taking place in Berlin at the French Embassy on Climate Migration and Health. This wish is commonly shared and we will pool our efforts to strengthen this comparative scientific offer. Moreover, in Paris, we are developing a mapping of French and German public health academic actors. I will also support efforts to implement this initiative to generate greater collaboration between the French-German public health actors.


TK: We will initiate specific workshops and teaching modules that will target the need of population health sciences in both countries. We further hope to bring together research groups working in similar domains to increase the visibility of the French-German public health domain.


Anneliese Depoux is a researcher in Information and Communication Sciences and she earned a doctorate from the University of Paris Sorbonne CELSA. She initiated, with Stefanie Schütte an interdisciplinary research group dedicated to study how to communicate on Climate Change & Health: 4CHealth. She was involved in the CVV since its foundation.


Tobias Kurth studied medicine and graduated from the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and earned a Doctor of Science in Epidemiology from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Kurth is professor and director of the Institute of Public Health of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and adjunct professor of epidemiology at Harvard in Boston. His research interests lie in the field of neurological and cardiovascular diseases at the population level, as well as in the effects and side effects of approved drugs.



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