Guest Lecture "The Polio Eradication Effort 1988-2019: Progress, Challenges, and the Critical Role of Research” by Professor Walter Orenstein

Welcome to a Guest Lecture on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 13:00 in Arvo F211 A+B. The speaker is Professor Walter Orenstein, Emory University, Atlanta GA, USA. The title of his presentation is:

The Polio Eradication Effort 1988-2019: Progress, Challenges, and the Critical Role of Research

Professor Orenstein’s presentation covers the following topics:

1) What the definition of eradication is and why polio is a candidate
2) Eradication strategy and tools being used to achieve eradication
3) Global progress and remaining challenges
4) Critical role of research – changing the program to date and future research needed to reach and sustain eradication

Walter A. Orenstein, MD, DSc (Hon) Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, Global Health, and Pediatrics; Associate Director, Emory Vaccine Center; Director, Emory Vaccine Policy and Development.

Walter A. Orenstein, MD, is a Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, Global Health, and Pediatrics at Emory University in Atlanta, GA USA. From 2008 through 2011, Dr. Orenstein was Deputy Director for Immunization Programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His primary focus at the foundation was on polio eradication, measles control, and improving routine immunization programs. Prior to 2004, Dr. Orenstein worked for 26 years in the National Immunization Program at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 1988-2004, he was the Director of the United States Immunization Program. He is a former Assistant Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Orenstein successfully developed, promoted, facilitated and expanded new vaccination strategies to enhance disease prevention.

Dr. Orenstein has authored and co-authored numerous books, journals and reviews. Dr. Orenstein co-edited Plotkin’s Vaccines, 7th edition in 2018 – the leading textbook in the field. He is a past Chair of the WHO’s Poliomyelitis Technical Consultative Group. He served as the Chair of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) from 2012 to 2016. He is also currently a member of the World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization Polio as well as Measles and Rubella Working Groups. From 2016 to 2018, Dr. Orenstein was the President of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID).

Dr. Orenstein’s research focus has been on assessment of vaccine effectiveness in observational studies, methods to overcome vaccine hesitancy, ways to enhance uptake of recommended vaccines, and ways to facilitate polio eradication and sustain that eradication. In addition, Dr. Orenstein is the Principal Investigator for an National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance, with a focus on better understanding pathogenesis, immune responses to vaccines and infection, and viral surveillance in animal populations.


Additional information:
Professor Pekka Nuorti
Health Sciences Unit, SOC
Tampere University