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Holly Korschun, 404/727-3990,
May 1, 2003


SARS Presentation at Emory University Features Key Public Health Officials and Scientists from CDC, Emory and Vanderbilt

ATLANTA--More than 500 Atlanta-area public health officials, clinicians, university researchers and students packed an Emory University auditorium on Wednesday evening, April 30 for a presentation by many of the key individuals involved in unraveling and controlling the global SARS outbreak. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and infectious disease experts were joined by public health and medical colleagues from Emory University and Vanderbilt University as they presented their first-hand experiences, the current state of knowledge about SARS, and expectations for the future of the disease.

CDC panelists included James Hughes, director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases, presenting a global overview; Tim Uyeki, Influenza Branch, describing early investigations of SARS in Hanoi, Chris Van Beneden, Respiratory Diseases Branch, outlining the SARS outbreak in the U.S.; John A. Jernigan, Division of Health Quality Promotion, updating clinical developments in SARS; Thomas Ksiazek, Special Pathogens Branch, detailing the search for the SARS-related coronavirus; Steven Oberste describing the sequencing of the coronavirus and development of PCR testing; and Marty Cetron, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, discussing methods of controlling the SARS epidemic. Mark R. Denison, a coronavirus expert from Vanderbilt University, discussed the biology of coronaviruses and progress towards the development of a SARS vaccine.

The CDC panelists were joined by Emory public health leaders James Curran, dean of Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and former director of the CDC Division of HIV/AIDS; Ruth Berkelman, director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research at the Rollins School and a member of the Institute of Medicine’s committee on Microbial Threats to Health ­ Emergence, Detection, and Response; Jeffrey Koplan, vice president for academic health affairs at Emory, former CDC director, and a recent consultant on SARS to officials at the University of Hong Kong; and David Stephens, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory School of Medicine.

The program was co-sponsored by the Triangle Lecture/Dinner Series and the Vaccine Dinner Club, groups that include Emory University, CDC, and other Atlanta-area academicians, scientists, and clinicians.

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