April 12, 2004

Del Rio to list infectious threats in upcoming Great Teachers Lecture          

By Holly Korschun

In the past three decades, more than 30 new biological agents have been identified in the United States, in addition to new twists on old "favorites" such as influenza and pneumonia. Combine deadly emerging infectious diseases--such as SARS, West Nile virus, virulent new strains of flu and an ongoing global pandemic of HIV/AIDS--with the threat of terrorist attacks using biological agents, and the sum is a list that dominates the attention of numerous public health and infectious diseases experts.

As part of the Great Teachers Lecture Series, the School of Medicine's Carlos del Rio will discuss the challenges of anticipating, preparing for, preventing, diagnosing and treating both old and new infectious disease threats in his lecture, "Old and Emerging Threats: From Smallpox to Monkeypox to SARS," to be held Thursday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Miller-Ward Alumni House.

Del Rio, professor of medicine, has spent many years working with a variety of infectious disease threats in the United States and in other countries, from prevention to research, to patient care and public health policy, in a wide range of populations and health care settings. He is chief of medical services at Grady Hospital and associate director for clinical science and international research in the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). Del Rio also is program director of the Emory AIDS International Training and Research Program and a member of the Emory-led Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats.

A native of Mexico, del Rio was executive director of the National AIDS Council of Mexico, the government agency responsible for AIDS policy throughout Mexico.

The Great Teachers Lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Center for Lifelong Learning at 404-727-6000.

Before his lecture, del Rio will participate in "Global Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment," a town hall meeting and panel discussion to be held in WHSCAB Auditorium, April 15 from 6-8:30 p.m. (del Rio will leave this event early).

In addition to del Rio, featured panelists include:

Martha Carey, from the Doctors Without Borders Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines.

Sherry Knowles, an international patent lawyer with King & Spalding.

Dennis Liotta, professor of chemistry, Emory HIV researcher and co-discoverer of "AIDS cocktail" component 3TC.

Deborah McFarland, health economist and associate professor in the Rollins School of Public Health.

Bill Philbrick, CARE International senior technical advisor for HIV/AIDS programs.

Refreshments will be provided. For more information or to submit a question to the panel,e-mail Larissa Thomas at lrthoma@learnlink.emory.edu.