News Release: School of Medicine, School of Public Health

Jun. 22,  2009

Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats Prepares for Disease Outbreaks

News Article ImageFor more information about SECEBT, or to register for the conference, visit

The Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats (SECEBT) and Emory University School of Medicine will address the threat of infectious disease outbreaks in an upcoming conference and outbreak simulation. Next week's conference on "Factors in Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Southeast," takes place Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23-24 at the Emory Conference Center and Hotel, 1615 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30329.

Featured topics will include global migration, climate and weather, changing ecosystems, vectorborne diseases and foodborne disease issues.

Following the conference, on June 24-25, SECEBT will host an inaugural Southeast Region Tabletop Exercise on public health preparedness for members of the academic community, state health officials, laboratory directors, state and public health veterinarians and members of various federal organizations.

"Building a strong southeastern public health network and collaborating on research, communications, medical and public health response through academia and government is critical in addressing the increasing challenges of emerging infectious diseases," says SECEBT director James M. Hughes, MD. "Events such as the recent H1N1 outbreak demonstrate the value of regional partnerships such as SECEBT."

The tabletop exercise will help build relationships with participants from key organizations; identify and alleviate gaps in existing plans, policies and procedures; recognize the unique contributions that academic institutions can make to disease outbreak investigation and control efforts; identify the issues and gaps that arise during a multi-state outbreak in the Southeast; and demonstrate interagency data sharing, coordination and collaboration.

SECEBT is a regional partnership of universities, public health agencies, affiliates and foundations dedicated to combating biologic threats with increasing potential for harm.

SECEBT was founded at Emory University in August 2002 and now includes 17 southeastern universities, seven state health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services - Region IV, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the Georgia Research Alliance, the Carter Center and the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

For more information about SECEBT, or to register for the conference, visit

For more conference information, call 404-712-2467.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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