Expert to Discuss Threat of Bird-Flu Pandemic

April 05, 2006

Infectious disease expert John Treanor, M.D., who is helping to lead the world’s response to a potential bird-flu pandemic, will speak about the deadly disease and efforts to stop it, as part of a lecture series highlighting biological and biomedical research at the University of Rochester.

Treanor will speak about bird flu and his vaccine research at 4 p.m. Friday, April 14 in the Class of 1962 Auditorium at the Medical Center. It’s the second lecture in a new seminar series, dubbed the “Second Friday Science Social,” that is geared mainly to faculty, staff and students at the University, though the general public is welcome as well. The lectures are free. More information is available at http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/sss/.

Just last week Treanor published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine announcing that an experimental bird flu vaccine looks promising, but only at very high doses. Now he is involved in five more studies that aim to stretch the vaccine supply and make the vaccine more effective.

So far approximately 750 people have taken part in bird-flu-vaccine studies at the University’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit, making Rochester home to more people who have been immunized against the disease than any other city in the world. Rochester’s VTEU is part of a Federally funded network of seven centers that the nation relies on to protect its citizens against infectious threats. Under Treanor’s leadership, the center also has tested vaccines against malaria, smallpox, anthrax, the common cold, herpes, whooping cough, pneumonia, and other diseases. In addition, Treanor also helps steer the nation’s broad vaccination policy, as a member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

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