The head of the new European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has begun the process of hiring staff. Zsuzanna Jakab, who took up her post as director of the new agency on March 1, told The Scientist that 29 people, including 16 scientists, will be recruited in the current financial year, and the European Commission is expected to start advertising the posts immediately. By 2010, Jakab predicted, the total number of staff could be 300.

Jakab has also been putting together an advisory panel of approximately 50 experts from various member states to give expert guidance. The panel is scheduled to hold its first meeting on April 28 at the ECDC's Stockholm headquarters. She will likely hire a deputy in May.

The European Union has given Jakab until the autumn to draw up a strategy document that sets out the new organization's objectives and how it plans...

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