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XVIII International Symposium on Respiratory Viral Infections

Program Chairs

W. ABDULLAH BROOKS

Dr. W. Abdullah Brooks attended Stanford Medical School, graduating in 1991. He completed residency training in Pediatrics at The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center in 1994 and Preventive Medicine at John Hopkins University in 1995, where he also served as Chief Resident in 1996 and joined the faculty at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in 1997.

1997: was seconded from Johns Hopkins to the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) in Dhaka.

1998: Set up a field site, with an onsite clinic, in Dhaka urban slum (Kamalapur) in order to conduct population-based disease burden studies as well as clinical and vaccine trials.  The site which is ICDDR, B’s only population-based urban field site, is staffed by over 100 field and clinic personnel and supports a range of ongoing studies.

1998 – present: Conducted disease burden study in:

  • Influenza
  • Invasive pneumococcal disease
  • Typhoid fever
  • Impact of indoor air pollution on acute and chronic respiratory illnesses
  • Dengue, leptospirosis and other febrile illnesses
  • Shigellosis and other Diarrhoeal disease pathogens

1998 – present: Clinical and Vaccine Trials include:

  • Several studies in the presentation and treatment of pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses with zinc
  • Studies in the prevention and treatment of diarrhoeal diseases with zinc
  • Vaccine trials of live attenuated influenza vaccine in preschool aged children
  • A clinical trial on the efficacy of oseltamivir to reduce the duration of illness, viral shedding, household and community transmission of influenza and impact on emergence and propagation of resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors.
  • Vaccine trial of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine against early childhood pneumonia
  • Safety and immunogenicity vaccine trials for a common protein pneumococcal vaccine and a live attenuated influenza vaccine.

His primary focus has been in the area of respiratory infectious (bacterial and non-bacterial) in preschool aged children, but has recently expanded that to both children and adults.  In addition to research, Dr. Brooks also serves as paediatric consultant to several organisations operating in the South/Southeast Asian region.  He has served as the Head of Infectious Diseases, at ICDDR, B and currently serves as Director of the Kamalapur urban field site. He has served as the Head of Infectious Diseases Unit in the Division of Health Systems and Infectious Diseases at ICDDR,B and currently serves as Director of the Kamalapur urban field site.

ARNOLD MONTO

Arnold S. Monto is the Thomas Francis Jr. Collegiate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor.  The major focus of his work has been the epidemiology, prevention and treatment of acute infections in the individual and the community. Respiratory infections, in particular influenza, have been a major interest, with special reference to the evaluation of vaccines in various populations and the assessment of the value of antivirals.  He has worked on these issues in tropical as well as temperate regions.  He led the studies of respiratory infection in Tecumseh, Michigan, a landmark study of infection in the community. He has studied various approaches to influenza vaccine use, particularly to control transmission of the virus in the community and in nursing homes.

Professor Monto is involved in assessing the efficacy of various types of influenza vaccine in prophylaxis and neuraminidase inhibitors and other compounds in prophylaxis and therapy of influenza, including implications of antiviral resistance.  He now is involved in an observational study of effectiveness of influenza vaccines in various settings, including in households.  His recent activities have included evaluation of face masks and hand hygiene in the control of influenza transmission and determination of efficacy of the traditional inactivated and live attenuated influenza vaccines.  He works extensively with national and international organizations on issues related to influenza control and pandemic preparedness.  He has been a member of the National Allergy and Infectious Disease Advisory Council of the US National Institutes of Health and is now on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Fondation Merieux.  He is a past president of the American Epidemiological Society.  He was the 2009 recipient of the Alexander Fleming Award of the Infectious Diseases Society of America for lifetime achievement and the 2012 Charles Merieux award of the National Fondation for Infectious Diseases.  He was a member of the Emergency Committee making recommendations to the World Health Organization during the past influenza pandemic.