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Media Contact: Holly Korschun 21 November 2006    
  (404) 727-3990   Print  | Email ]

Jeffrey P. Koplan Named Paul G. Rogers Global Health Research Ambassador
Jeffrey P. Koplan, MD, MPH, vice president for academic health affairs at Emory University's Woodruff Health Sciences Center and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been named an Ambassador in the inaugural class of the Paul G. Rogers Society for Global Health Research. Dr. Koplan joins 27 of the nation's foremost experts in global health who will band together to advocate for greater U.S. investment in global health research.

Research!America launched the Society this summer to increase awareness of--and make the case for greater U.S. investment in--research to fight diseases that disproportionately affect the world's poorest nations. The Rogers Society is named for the former Florida Congressman, renowned champion for research to improve health and current Research!America chair emeritus.

"Each ambassador is a true credit to Paul Rogers and each will carry on his effective model of education and advocacy," said The Honorable John Edward Porter, chair of the Society's Advisory Council and Research!America board chair. "Individually and as a unified voice, they will provide crucial leadership in our mission to increase U.S. support for global health research."

Members of this prestigious research advocacy team are recognized leaders in medical and global public health research and represent a spectrum of the nation's "scientist advocates." Selected by an advisory council that includes three Nobel Laureates, the inaugural class of Ambassadors will work to build a national discussion about the need to assign a high priority to global health research. Ambassadors will meet with opinion leaders and decision makers to convey the importance of global health research to Americans and to the nation.

The Paul G. Rogers Society was established with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Jeff Koplan is one of the world's great leaders in global public health," said Michael M.E. Johns, MD, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and chairman of Emory Healthcare. "We are pleased with his appointment as a Rogers Ambassador and very proud that he is a member of our Emory team. I can think of no better representative to this prestigious group advocating for global health research, and I am confident his participation will help ensure its success."

Dr. Koplan joined Emory University's Woodruff Health Sciences Center in 2002, after serving as CDC director from 1998 to 2002. He began his public health career in the early 1970s as one of the CDC's celebrated "disease detectives," more formally known as Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officers. Since then, he has worked on virtually every major public health issue, including infectious diseases such as smallpox and HIV/AIDS, environmental issues such as the Bhopal chemical disaster, and the health toll of tobacco and chronic diseases, both in the United States and around the globe. He recently chaired the Institute of Medicine committee on preventing childhood obesity and is internationally active in promoting healthy nutrition and physical activity.

From 1994 to 1998, he pursued his interest in enhancing the interactions between clinical medicine and public health by leading the Prudential Center for Health Care Research, a nationally recognized health services research organization.

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 of the American College of Physicians and was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine, where he was elected to the Governing Council. He has served on many advisory groups and consultancies in the U.S. and overseas, and has written more than 170 scientific papers. He is a trustee of Yale University, The Marcus Family Foundation, and HealthMpowers.

He has worked in collaborative relationships with Chinese health officials since his first visit to China in 1979, as a me mber of the US-PRC Public Health – Health Services Research Team and from 1981 co-directed this team with Professor Yang Ming Ding of Shanghai Medical University (now Fudan). Since then, he has made over 30 visits to China. His work has included US-PRC bilateral projects, World Bank missions and WHO consultations. He is an honorary professor of the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine and honorary advisor of the Chinese CDC.

Research!America is the nation's largest not-for-profit public education and advocacy alliance working to make research to improve health a higher national priority. Founded in 1989, it is supported by more than 500 member organizations, which represent more than 125 million Americans. For more information, visit


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