Disease expert to speak on Ebola, other diseases at UW-L

Michael Osterholm

Dr. Michael Osterholm, an international leader on the epidemiology of infectious diseases, pandemic influenza preparedness, and the growing concern regarding the use of biological weapons, will give two presentations at UW-L.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, an international leader on the epidemiology of infectious diseases, pandemic influenza preparedness, and the growing concern regarding the use of biological weapons, will give a public presentation on “Emerging Infectious Diseases: Looking Into the Windshield and the Rearview Mirror” at 5:30 p.m.Thursday, Oct. 23. He will give a scientific seminar on “The West African Ebola Outbreak: An Epidemic for the Century” at 7 p.m. (This presentation had originally been scheduled for Friday, Oct. 24.) Both are in 1400 Centennial Hall. The presentations are free and open to all. They are part of the UW-L Distinguished Speakers in Life Sciences series.

Osterholm is professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the School of Public Health and the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. His New York Times best-selling book, “Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe,” provides a comprehensive review of America’s current state of preparedness for a bioterrorism attack.

Osterholm is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Council of Foreign Relations. He has authored more than 315 papers and abstracts, including 21 book chapters.

Osterholm previously served for 24 years (1975-1999) in various roles at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the last 15 as state epidemiologist and chief of the Acute Disease Epidemiology Section. While at the MDH, he and his team led numerous investigations of outbreaks of international importance.

The lecture series is sponsored by the university’s Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, and Community Health Education departments, with major contributions from the College of Science & Health and the Robert McMahon MD Fund of the Gundersen Medical Foundation. McMahon was the first full-time physician and director of UW-L Health Services and co-founded UW-L Cardiac Rehabilitation program. In 1970, McMahon joined the medical staff of the Gundersen Clinic where he practiced until retiring in 1985. The Gundersen Medical Foundation received memorials for McMahon and established the lecture fund with the gifts in his memory.