Director Jeffrey Koplan Takes Key Leadership Position at Emory University's
Woodruff Health Sciences Center
Jeffrey P. Koplan,
MD, MPH, outgoing Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, will become the new Vice President for Academic Health Affairs
at Emory University's Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC), effective
April 22. The announcement was made by Michael M. E. Johns, MD, Executive
Vice President for Health Affairs, Director of The Robert W. Woodruff
Health Sciences Center, and Chief Executive Officer of Emory Healthcare.
As the chief academic and
research officer on Dr. Johns' senior leadership team, Dr. Koplan will
work with Dr. Johns to plan, direct, and advance the WHSC's research
and academic strategies across the schools of medicine, nursing, public
health; the Yerkes Primate Research Center; and Emory Healthcare's extensive
network of clinics, hospitals, and community health centers, the most
comprehensive health care system in Atlanta.
Dr. Johns says, "Dr. Koplan's
decision to join our leadership team is a perfect match at the perfect
time. He brings the vision, expertise, research and program leadership
to help move the Woodruff Health Sciences Center through the next phase
of its development."
In the past six years, in
addition to a complete restructuring of the healthcare enterprise, Emory's
health sciences center has aggressively strengthened its research and
educational programs. Awards for sponsored research have more than doubled
to over $233 million annually. The most extensive building program in
the University's history has resulted in extensive restructuring and
enhancement of the research infrastructure, and innovations and new
resources have been introduced to all health professions educational
programs. Emory now faces a new set of challenges in further developing
research and educational programs to meet a changing healthcare environment
and to take advantage of new research opportunities.
Dr. Johns says, "Jeff is
an extraordinary leader, both statesman and scientist, who leads the
premier health agency in the world with distinction, and who thinks
and acts with a global perspective. He personifies the interdisciplinary
spirit that we seek at Emory, and he has become the nation's leading
spokesperson for the integration of public health into medicine and
nursing and for broadening the way health professionals approach healthcare.
His leadership in both the public sector at CDC and the private sector
at Prudential Center for Health Care Research dramatically changed health-related
research and the health of the nation. We are pleased and honored to
have him with us."
Dr. Koplan says, "As with
my tenure at the CDC, I particularly enjoy being at an institution that
strives for excellence and making an international contribution to health.
I have a longstanding relationship with, and admiration for, Emory's
Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and I know the WHSC offers excellence,
growth and much more, under Mike Johns' leadership. As Vice President
for Academic Health Affairs, I look forward to enhancing the symbiosis
between the schools and research programs of the WHSC and to strengthening
its partnerships with the CDC, American Cancer Society, Georgia Research
Alliance, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and other key research
organizations and institutions."
As director of CDC from 1998
until the end of this month, Dr. Koplan leads the Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) agency responsible for promoting health and
quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability.
CDC's eleven centers, institutes and program offices work closely with
local, state and federal health agencies and private sector partners
to protect the public's health and promote healthy lifestyles.
This new position is not
his first foray into the private sector. He joined The Prudential Center
for Health Care Research in 1994, as Executive Vice President and director,
and served as president from 1995-1998. Dr. Koplan served as a clinical
professor in Emory's School of Medicine for 12 years and has had an
appointment in Emory's Rollins School of Public Health since its founding
in 1990. He also holds academic appointments at Morehouse Medical School,
Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health, and has
been a visiting lecturer at many other universities and health sciences
As Vice President for Academic
Health Affairs, Dr. Koplan follows David Blake, PhD, who in 1997, soon
after Dr. Johns arrived to head Emory's health sciences center, took
what was then a new position. Working with Dr. Johns and key University
and Woodruff Health Sciences Center leaders, Dr. Blake helped reshape
the research infrastructure, develop and strengthen important research
relationships, and identify and set into motion priority research initiatives,
such as cancer and genomics. He resigned in January to focus on his
consulting practice. Dr. Koplan will build on these achievements to
begin a new era, says Dr. Johns.
In addition to advising and
working on the overall thrust forward of the WHSC, Dr. Koplan expects
to look closely at several initiatives underway at Emory to which he
brings special expertise:
- Health outcomes research.
As Executive Vice President and Director, and then President, of the
Prudential Center for Health Care Research from 1994 to 1998, Dr. Koplan
built the center into a nationally-recognized health services and outcomes
research organization, and he has continued to write and publish in
this area. The new Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality is one
of the largest groups in the nation in health research directed at measuring
and assessing the quality of health care with the aim of improving medical
- International health. Dr.
Koplan's career has had a global impact and focus, not only at the CDC
but as a consultant to the World Bank and the World Health Organization
and through his work in cardiovascular health in Finland, infectious
and chronic disease issues in China, and chronic diseases in Hungary,
for example. At Emory, he will turn his global perspective and experience
toward blending the extensive international resources in Emory's schools
of medicine, nursing, public health, Yerkes, and the clinical programs
into a more comprehensive international effort.
- Biotechnology. Emory is
working with the Georgia Research Alliance, governmental leaders, other
Georgia research universities, and industry to enhance Georgia's development
as a leader in biomedical technology. This effort has large economic
development significance, and it also will allow Georgians to be among
the first to benefit from new discoveries in genomics, proteomics, biomedical
engineering, and the ability to tailor treatments to individual patients.
Dr. Johns looks forward to drawing from Dr. Koplan's extensive experience
in creating successful partnerships among public, private, voluntary,
and research organizations.
- Cancer. Dr. Koplan brings
to Emory considerable experience in cancer and cancer prevention, especially
cancer detection, having established a national breast and cervical
cancer early detection program at the CDC that now reaches every state
in the nation. He will provide invaluable support to Emory's Winship
Cancer Institute and the Institute's partnership with Governor Roy Barnes'
Georgia Cancer Coalition. He also brings great expertise in other related
priority research areas at Emory, including health disparities in cancer
and other diseases and tobacco use prevention.
- Vaccines for AIDS and emerging
infectious diseases. Perhaps more than anyone else in the world, Dr.
Koplan has worked to combat established and emerging infectious diseases
including AIDS, anthrax, malaria, sexually transmitted diseases, smallpox,
tuberculosis, and many of the newer diseases that threaten humankind
such as Ebola and West Nile virus. Vaccines are one of the highest priorities
in Emory's new strategic research plan, and preclinical studies at the
broadly-based Emory Vaccine Center have shown that a HIV-vaccine developed
at Emory is a promising candidate to control HIV infection in humans.
- Bioterrorism. At the CDC,
Dr. Koplan was in a unique leadership position to take the country through
its first bioterrorism event. Based on Emory's own resources in infectious
disease, emergency medicine, vaccines, public health and other areas,
including a new Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research,
and based on its strong partnerships with the CDC and state and local
public health resources, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center has made
bioterrorism one of its priorities.
Dr. Koplan holds a BA degree
in English from Yale University, an MD from Mt.. Sinai School of Medicine
and an MPH from Harvard University's School of Public Health. He completed
a residency in internal medicine at Montefiore Hospital in New York
and Stanford University Hospital and in preventive medicine at the CDC.
He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine.
He joined the CDC as an Epidemic
Intelligence Service officer in 1972, working in the smallpox eradication
program, including six months as a World Health Organization advisor
in Bangladesh. He served as a medical epidemiologist in the infectious
diseases section of the California State Department of Health and in
the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre in Trinidad. Returning to the CDC
in 1978, he served in various positions including director of the Preventive
Medicine Residency Program, Director of the Center for Health Promotion
and Education, Director and Assistant Surgeon General for the National
Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. After serving
as Executive Vice President and Director, then President of The Prudential
Center for Health Care Research, he was named Director of the CDC.
Dr. Koplan has won numerous
awards, including the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award
given by the U.S. Public Health Service, and election to membership
in the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences.
His wife, Carol Koplan, MD,
is an adjunct assistant professor in the Rollins School of Public Health
and their daughter Kate is a third year medical student at Emory. The
Koplans' son, Adam, is a graduate student in theater directing in Seattle.