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Fernando Polack, MD

Fernando Polack, M.D, is the Cesar Milstein Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Polack earned his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine in Argentina and directs INFANT (the Foundation for Children’s Infectious Disease Research) in Buenos Aires. Dr. Polack’s research interests focus on understanding the mechanisms of illness of viral respiratory diseases affecting children and the determinants of protection in vaccines against these agents. Using a variety of animal models and field studies, the laboratory translates observations about this problems from bench to bedside, including the mechanisms associated with breast milk-mediated protection against respiratory syncytial virus and influenza, the characteristics of protective antibody against these viruses, and the environmental, immune and viral determinants of severe bronchiolitis and influenza in underserved populations, children and groups at high risk for severe disease. Many of the studies conducted in the laboratories at Vanderbilt and Buenos Aires, and field sites in South America, explore novel solutions to longstanding pediatric problems, and attempt to identify public health interventions derived from translational research studies to decrease severity of bronchiolitis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and pediatric asthma.