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September 15, 2003


Former CDC Director to Lecture at Emory on "Plagues: Bugs and Behavior"

ATLANTA -- During a global public health career spanning nearly 30 years and addressing disease issues ranging from SARS to smoking, Jeffrey Koplan, MD has developed a unique perspective and understanding of global "plagues" that include infectious disease epidemics such as smallpox, pandemic flu, and HIV/AIDS, as well as chronic disease crises such as obesity and tobacco and alcohol-related illnesses.

As an Emory Great Teacher, he will present his fascinating insights and historical knowledge of past and present plagues and their psychological and behavioral power, as well as what we can expect from the future, and whether an understanding of the evolution of infectious "bugs" and behavior-related afflictions can help us stem the progression of these public health scourges.

His lecture on "Plagues: Bugs and Behavior" will be free and open to the public on Thursday, October 16, 7:30 p.m. in Emoryís Miller Ward Alumni House at 815 Houston Mill Road. Call 404-727-5686 for more information.

Dr. Koplan came to Emory University as vice president for academic health affairs in 2002 after serving as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation's most important agency devoted to health promotion and the prevention of disease, injury, and disability.

He began his public health career in the early 1970s as one of the CDCís celebrated "disease detectives," more formally known as Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officers. During his illustrious career in public health, he has been a world leader in virtually every major global public health issue ≠ as part of the final smallpox eradication project in Bangladesh, a member of the team that investigated the Bhopal chemical disaster, the anthrax incidents in 2001, and continuing global problems of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.

As a consultant to the World Bank and the World Health Organization, Dr. Koplan has worked extensively in the public health programs of other nations, including China, Hungary, Finland, the Caribbean and elsewhere. During the SARS epidemic, he has been a special consultant to the government of Hong Kong. As a founder and the first director of the CDCís National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, he was successful in establishing the fight against chronic disease as a national priority, provided national and international leadership in efforts to combat the health toll of tobacco, obesity and chronic diseases, and initiated the national breast cancer early detection program

At Emory, in addition to his role as vice president, he is senior adviser to the Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats.

Dr. Koplan is a graduate of Yale College, the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and the Harvard School of Public Health. He is a Master Fellow of the American College of Physicians and was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine and the Instituteís Governing Council. Dr. Koplan's recognitions for his achievements in the Public Health Service include the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given.

His wife, Carol Koplan, MD, is an adjunct assistant professor in the Rollins School of Public Health, and their daughter Kate is in the final year of her five-year MD/MPH training at Emory. The Koplansí son, Adam, is a theater director in New York City.

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