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Media Contact: Holly Korschun 09 January 2004    
  (404) 727-3990   Print  | Email ]

Director of National Immunization Program at CDC Joins Emory
Walter A. Orenstein, MD, director of the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will join the Emory University School of Medicine in March 2004 as Director of a new Emory Program for Vaccine Policy and Development and as Associate Director of the Emory Vaccine Center. Dr. Orenstein will retire from his 26-year career in the CDC's immunization program, where he has led the global effort to eliminate many of the world's most common vaccine-preventable diseases. In his new position he also will serve as Associate Director of the Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats, a regional partnership led by Emory University.

Dr. Orenstein's primary appointment will be in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics in Emory University School of Medicine. He also will hold faculty appointments in the Departments of International Health and Epidemiology in Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. He is expected to help assemble a nationally recognized scientific program and foundation in clinical vaccine development and policy, building on Emory's well-established and highly respected programs in vaccine development and infectious diseases research and treatment.

"Dr. Orenstein has played a key role in a number of the most important public health efforts of our time," said Thomas J. Lawley, MD, dean of Emory University School of Medicine. "We are most fortunate that he will join our Emory faculty and an outstanding group of scientists and physicians in infectious diseases and vaccines. The recent pace of Emory's growth in infectious diseases and vaccine research has been outstanding, and I expect Dr. Orenstein to be a catalyst for continued innovation and an era of groundbreaking leadership by Emory in vaccine science and policy."

"Scientists in our Emory Vaccine Center have been responsible for groundbreaking discoveries that promise to have a major impact on some of the world's most challenging infectious diseases," said Rafi Ahmed, PhD, director of the Emory Vaccine Center and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. "Dr. Orenstein's global public health experience and numerous successes in furthering vaccine development and shaping effective vaccine policy will help ensure that the results of our Emory vaccine research are able to benefit the greatest number of individuals worldwide."

"The excitement about the future of vaccine research at Emory is tremendous," said David Stephens, MD, director of the Division of Infectious Disease in Emory University School of Medicine and Executive Director of the Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats. "Dr. Orenstein will help us build on the research synergies among our Emory Vaccine Center, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, the Rollins School of Public Health, the Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats, the Emory Center for Human Immunology, and the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, Pathology, and Microbiology and Immunology in the Emory School of Medicine."

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