Expert on biotechnology and public health to lecture at UGA

March 20, 2013

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Athens, Ga. - The University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of microbiology will present a lecture by Obidimma Ezezika on effective strategies for improved public health through the adoption of biotechnology April 3 at 2 p.m. in room S175 of the Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences.

The lecture, part of the Franklin Visiting Scholars series, is open to the public and will be followed by a reception in the rotunda of the Coverdell Center.

A program leader in ethics at the University of Toronto's Sandra Rotman Centre, Ezezika is an adjunct faculty member at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. He focuses on navigating ethical and commercialization challenges to innovative development initiatives in Africa.

Ezezika's lecture on "From the Lab to the Village: Innovative Global Solutions in Agricultural Biotechnology" will describe a strategic model developed to build trust and partnerships in health-related initiatives and to increase the success of biotechnology implementation to improve public health. The strategy helps align the goals of everyone involved in the "lab-to-village" pathway and provides farmers with a voice and an important role in the process, he said. The approach, which has been applied to projects sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also improves management practices and accountability.

"It is our great privilege to welcome back one of our former students," said Ellen Neidle, a professor of microbiology in the Franklin College. "Not only does his work have a tremendous impact on global public health, but his atypical career trajectory illustrates the utility of multidisciplinary training and education. He brings important experience to share with us about successful public-private partnerships in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Egypt and elsewhere to combat public health crises through biotechnology."

An alumnus of UGA where he received his doctorate in microbiology in 2006, Ezezika also holds a master's degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University, where he studied environmental policy, economics and law.

The Franklin Visiting Scholars program assists faculty in bringing to UGA outstanding scholars who also are diversity champions and leaders on their campuses and in their disciplines. The program assists units in developing diverse professional networks for both faculty and graduate student recruitment, development and retention; informs units about effective discipline-based strategies for creating a climate for diversity and inclusion; and assists in developing new collaborations.

For more information on the Franklin College, see http://www.franklin.uga.edu/.

 

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