Maria Van Kerkhove, MS, PhD, is an infectious disease epidemiologist who specializes in outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging pathogens. Apart from being the Technical Lead for COVID-19, Dr Van Kerkhove is also the Head of the Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Unit and the MERS-CoV Technical Lead in the WHO’s Health Emergency Program. Her main research interests include zoonotic, respiratory and emerging/re-emerging viruses such as avian influenza, MERS-CoV, Ebola, Marburg, plague and Zika. Previously, Dr Van Kerkhove was the Head of the Outbreak Investigation Task Force at Institut Pasteur’s Center for Global Health. She was previously employed by Imperial College London in the MRC Center for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling.