Autumn 2008: Campaign Emory

Keith Klugman

Photo by Jon Rou

Curbing the Leading Killer of Children

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A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Keith Klugman came to Emory in 2001 after serving for five years as director of the South African Institute for Medical Research. The world’s leading expert on antibiotic resistance in pneumonia, Klugman led a landmark study and successful vaccine trial to prevent pneumonia in children in Soweto, South Africa, that has led to the vaccine’s routine use around the world. While the vaccine is hugely effective, it’s stopped only 1 percent of the world’s pneumonia because it is cost prohibitive in developing countries where infectious pneumonia is the number one killer of children.

Klugman came to Emory because he feels he can realize more progress here than anywhere else.

“I can do more to impact the global burden of pneumonia by coming to the Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH), a center for public health research that can influence issues globally. Rollins has a global research agenda to reduce the world’s burden of pneumonia,” Klugman says. “I am interested in applied research that will end up in a product—a vaccine or an antibiotic or a prevention—that will make a real difference. I like to work in that intersection between discovery and application.”

Klugman is the William H. Foege Chair in Global Health, and his work is supported by the Hubert Foundation, which established the chair. Formerly director of the CDC and Emeritus Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health at the RSPH, Foege worked on the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. The Hubert Foundation’s support of the RSPH includes the Foege Chair, the Ruth and O. C. Hubert Chair in Religion and Health, the O. C. Hubert Fellowships in International Health, and the Richard N. Hubert Fund for Global Health Excellence, established to help the school become a strategic leader in global health.

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