Campus News

Gates Foundation official to deliver March 23 Global Diseases Lecture

Gates Foundation official to deliver March 23 Global Diseases Lecture

Dr. Julie Jacobson from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program will be the featured speaker for the next “Global Diseases: Voices from the Vanguard” lecture on March 23 at the Chapel.

The UGA series, now in its fifth year, features heroes in the global battle against premature death and disease. Jacobson’s 6 p.m. lecture is entitled “Creating Global Change in Public Health.”

A senior program officer with the Gates Foundation, she will tell stories from her experience in tackling little-known diseases that have huge impact in the developing world and will provide a personal view of strategies and partners that are making a difference.

Working with the Gates Foundation since 2007, Jacobson supports grants aimed toward the control of neglected tropical diseases and works with the development and implementation of new vaccines. She also is responsible for working toward the efficient development and delivery of new vaccines for infectious diseases and use of maternal immunization to protect newborns from infectious disease.

As former scientific director of immunization solutions for the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health Japanese encephalitis (JE) project, she managed a $35 million grant to accelerate the control of JE in endemic countries by improving data on the distribution of JE, accelerating the development of an improved vaccine and diagnostic tests for JE and helping countries integrate the JE vaccine into immunization programs.

In her role she defined the direction and growth of immunization solutions work by increasing the availability of vaccines to the world’s most vulnerable populations. This included work on clinical trials for specific vaccines to directly working with ministries of health and partners in decision-making on vaccine introduction and planning. She has been responsible for prioritizing and designing field activities for PATH’s Children’s Vaccine Project in the areas including yellow fever and rotavirus.

Prior to joining PATH, Jacobson worked at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an epidemic intelligence officer. She worked in disaster epidemiology and conducted needs assessments for disaster victims, evaluated national surveillance systems and evaluated the health impact of earthquakes on displaced persons.

Jacobson is a physician with training in clinical tropical medicine and applied epidemiology. She has country experience in Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Nepal, Nicaragua, Malaysia, the Philippines, Peru, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zaire.

She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida and a doctor of medicine degree from the University of South Florida’s College of Medicine. She holds a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene from the Gorgas Memorial Institute in Lima, Peru, and medical certifications from the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Academy of Family Practice.

The 2010 Voices from the Vanguard series concludes on April 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the Chapel. Jenna Davis of Stanford University will discuss her work in water, sanitation and health. Each lecture is followed by a reception in Demosthenian Hall.

The “Global Diseases: Voices from the Vanguard” lecture series is a joint effort of Patricia Thomas, UGA’s Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Daniel G. Colley, director of UGA’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases.