Tel Aviv University announced plans to establish a new multidisciplinary epidemic research center on Wednesday, describing the new facility as the first of its kind worldwide.The Center for Combating Pandemics will bring together university experts from different academic fields, including medicine, biology, mathematics, physics, economics, engineering, education and psychology. They will work with fellow experts from leading hospitals and academic institutions both in Israel and abroad, the university said, to advance research in the field of epidemics and assist the State of Israel in battling future outbreaks."Tens of millions of shekels" have been invested in the establishment of the center, including a "significant initial gift" donated by Australian businessman and philanthropist Sir Frank Lowy, a Holocaust survivor who fought in the Israeli War of Independence. Additional philanthropic foundations have expressed interest in joining the initiative, the university said."For the first time, the innovative research center will allow researchers to join forces, pool their resources and examine the implications of the pandemic from different perspectives," said Tel Aviv University president Prof. Ariel Porat."The collaborative efforts will enable researchers to produce a bird’s-eye view that will offer insight into the best ways to deal with future crises of this kind."