Donald S. Burke, MD

Donald S. Burke, M.D.       As of July 1, 2006, Donald S. Burke, MD, assumed the position of director of the Center for Vaccine Research (CVR). Dr. Burke is one of the world’s foremost experts in prevention, diagnosis, and control of infectious diseases of global concern, including HIV/AIDS, avian influenza, and emerging infectious diseases.

      In addition to serving as director of the CVR, Dr. Burke is the dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health and serves in the newly established position of associate vice chancellor for global health, health sciences. He is also the first occupant of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Jonas Salk Chair in Global Health.

      Before coming to the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Burke was a professor at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he served as associate chair of the Department of International Health and director of the Center for Immunization Research. He also served as principal investigator of National Institutes of Health-supported research projects on HIV vaccines, biodefense, and emerging infectious diseases. He was also the director of the Disease Prevention and Control Program.

      Prior to his tenure at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Burke served 23 years on active duty in the U.S. Army, leading military infectious disease research at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C., and at the Armed Forces Research Institute Of Medical Sciences in Bangkok, Thailand. He retired at the rank of colonel.

      In addition to many decorations received while in military service, Burke has been honored by the scientific community. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Microbiology, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, American College of Physicians, and the Infectious Disease Society of America. He served as president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 1995-96.

      Burke has authored or co-authored more than 200 research reports. Recent selections from his bibliography include reports on the evaluation of the likely effectiveness of strategies for containing an emerging pandemic influenza in Southeast Asia, simulation of the dynamic effects of antibody-dependent enhancement on the fitness of viruses, detection of traveling waves in the epidemiology of dengue hemorrhagic fever, and emergence of unique primate T-lymphotropic viruses among central African bushmeat hunters.

      Burke’s career-long mission has been prevention and mitigation of the impact of epidemic infectious diseases of global importance. His research activities have spanned a wide range of science “from the bench to the bush,” including development of new diagnostics, population-based field studies, clinical vaccine trials, computational modeling of epidemic control strategies, and policy analysis. At Johns Hopkins, he most recently taught courses on infectious disease dynamics and on vaccine science and policy.

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