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Gates Foundation official is next UGA Voices lecturer

Gates Foundation official is next UGA Voices lecturer

Athens, Ga. – 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 Tuesday, March 23 at 6 p.m. in the University of Georgia Chapel. 

The UGA series, now in its fifth year, features heroes in the global battle against premature death and disease. Jacobson’s lecture will address “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 is also 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 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 JE vaccine into immunization programs.

At PATH, Jacobson helped bring protective vaccines to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. She organized clinical trials for experimental vaccines and helped ministries of health and their partners figure out how to introduce new and existing vaccines and make the best use of them. She also set priorities and PATH’s Children’s Vaccine Project and field tested vaccines against yellow fever and rotavirus.

Prior to joining PATH, Jacobson was an epidemic intelligence officer at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this capacity, she assessed needs for disaster victims, evaluated national surveillance systems, and analyzed the health impact of earthquakes on displaced persons.

Jacobson is a physician whose career in clinical tropical medicine and applied epidemiology has taken her to more than twenty countries. 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. Additionally she holds a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene from the Gorgas Memorial Institute, Lima, Peru, and medical certifications from the National Board of Medical Examiners and American Academy of Family Practice.

The 2010 Voices from the Vanguard series concludes on April 13 at 5:30 p.m. with a lecture by Jenna Davis of Stanford University discussing her work in water, sanitation and health. All lectures are held in the UGA Chapel, followed by a reception next door at 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. For additional information, see