Athens, Ga. – Rotavirus infections hospitalize 55,000 U.S. children each year and kill more than 600,000 worldwide. Roger Glass, whose work showed that an effective vaccine could keep this from happening, will discuss “Global Health in the 21st Century: Lessons from Rotavirus” on Monday, March 26 at 6 p.m. in the University of Georgia chapel.
Glass is the third speaker in the “Global Diseases: Voices from the Vanguard” lecture series at UGA. The four-speaker series showcases heroes in the global battle against premature death and disease and is free and open to the public.
Glass is director of the Fogarty International Center and associate director for International Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His work illustrated that an effective vaccine for rotavirus could save lives and last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new oral vaccine.
Glass is committed to preventing gastroenteritis, caused by rotaviruses or other causes, by applying novel scientific research. His epidemiologic studies have paved the way for rotavirus vaccines in countries including India, Bangladesh, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, Russia, Vietnam and China. He is fluent in and often lectures in five languages.
“It is a privilege to have Dr. Roger Glass visit UGA and speak in the global diseases lecture series,” said Daniel G. Colley, director of UGA’s Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. “Throughout his career Roger has merged excellence at the bench with outstanding epidemiologic skills and applied them in innovative ways to tackle the enormous challenge of worldwide diarrheal diseases of children. This has primarily involved rotavirus, a major killer of children in low- and middle-income countries, and a serious hospitalizing disease in high-income countries, but also has included a variety of other gastrointestinal illnesses.”
Glass graduated from Harvard College and received a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the University of Buenos Aires in 1967. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1972.
He joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1977 as a medical officer assigned to the Environmental Hazards Branch. He earned a doctorate from the University of Goteborg, Sweden in 1984, and joined the NIH Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, where he studied the molecular biology of rotavirus. In 1986, Glass returned to CDC to lead the Viral Gastroenteritis Unit at the National Center for Infectious Diseases.
Glass has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding Service Medal from the U.S. Public Health Service, the Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service, the Outstanding Unit Citation from the National Center for Infectious Diseases, and a Commendation Medal from the U.S. Public Health Service.
“He now takes his accomplishments and insights to the directorship of the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health, where he will undoubtedly forge new and innovative ways for the United States to support research and capacity building around the world,” noted Colley. “It will be exciting to hear how his vision in this new role will be soundly based on his vast global experience at the bench and in the field.”
The “Global Diseases: Voices from the Vanguard” lecture series is a joint effort of UGA’s Patricia Thomas, Grady’s College’s Knight Chair for Health and Medical Journalism, and Daniel G. Colley, director of the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases. This is the third lecture in the 2007 series, with the final program planned for April 24. All lectures will be held at 6 p.m. in the UGA Chapel, followed by a reception next door at Demosthenian Hall. For additional information, visit www.grady.uga.edu/knighthealth
Funding for “Global Diseases: Voices from the Vanguard” is provided by the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism, Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases and the Office of the Provost.
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication provides seven undergraduate majors including advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, visit www.grady.uga.edu.