research programs. We are very grateful to Manolis Kogevinas, director of the ISGlobal Severo Ochoa programme, for his successful leadership and full deployment of the proposal.
To take advantage of the current momentum, we have approved a new four-year Strategic Plan that will build on the Severo Ochoa programme, extending its scope to the whole organisation to enhance its impact and reinforce the excellence of our endeavours.
As we close this foreword, the world has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the full impact of this unprecedented health and socioeconomic crisis cannot yet be fully assessed, our mission and capacities have allowed us to ensure a proactive, productive and visible response to the pandemic in all our areas of activity. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the teams who have worked against the clock with an extraordinary level of cohesion and cooperation. Our task now is to ensure the continuity of our planned activities and commitments, while also preparing to meet future challenges and take advantage of new opportunities.
Last but not least, in December, the Board approved Josep M Antó’s request to step down as Scientific Director. After a long career as researcher and leader of scientific institutions, he will now dedicate himself full time to promoting planetary health. He has been succeeded by Denise Naniche, co-director of the Viral and Bacterial Infections Programme, whose appointment brings new opportunities and contributes to the generational renewal and gender balance of the Institute’s leadership. We are very grateful to Denise for her commitment to ISGlobal and for accepting this new responsibility.