NIH’s Gerald Keusch to Lead Boston University International Health Research, Education Efforts

in College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, News Releases, Science & Technology
November 13th, 2003

Contact: Ann Marie Menting, 617/353-2240 | amenting@bu.edu

(Boston, Mass.) — In a move that underscores the world-class role of Boston University in the growing field of global health, President ad interim Aram Chobanian announced today that Gerald T. Keusch, M.D., will head up the University’s international health efforts. Keusch currently is the associate director for international research and director of the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The addition of Keusch highlights the pivotal role Boston University has in this field and signals its commitment to increasing its position as a leader in research and education in global health.

Effective January 1, 2004, Keusch will hold the newly created positions of assistant provost for global health at Boston University Medical Center (BUMC) and associate dean for global health at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH). He will also serve as professor of international health at BUSPH, and professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

“The recruitment of Dr. Keusch vaults Boston University and BUSPH into the first rank of programs that are working to address the increasingly important and difficult challenges of global health,” said Chobanian. “His extensive international experience and research background will be invaluable to his colleagues and to our students as we build on an already outstanding program in global health at BU Medical Center and across the University.”

Keusch has played a central role in international health research and policy issues at the NIH since 1998. Under his leadership, the programs of the Fogarty International Center expanded to address not only pressing global issues in infectious diseases, but also critical cross-cutting issues such as the ethical conduct of research, intellectual property rights and global public goods, and the impact of improved health on economic development.

Prior to joining the NIH, Keusch served as faculty associate and director of the Health Office of the Harvard Institute for International Development. He also has served as professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Tufts University School of Medicine and the New England Medical Center.

“Dr. Keusch’s diverse experience in research — from the bench to the field — and its application to critical global health issues, combined with his policy-making experience at the NIH and his international contacts at the World Health Organization, the World Bank and all the other major global players, make him uniquely qualified to lead our University-wide commitment to address the great disparities in health between rich and poor nations,” said Robert Meenan, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A, dean of BUSPH.

Keusch, a graduate of Columbia College and Harvard Medical School, is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases. He is the author of more than 300 original publications, reviews and book chapters, and is the editor of eight scientific books. He has received the Squibb, Finland and Bristol awards of the Infectious Disease Society of America and has delivered numerous lectures including the Health-Clark Lecture at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Wesley Spink Lecture at the University of Minnesota, and the William Kirby Lecture at the University of Washington. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. His research has ranged from the molecular pathogenesis of tropical infectious diseases to field research in nutrition, to immunology and host susceptibility, to the epidemiology and pathogenesis of treatment of tropical infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS-related wasting syndrome in African patients.

Keusch’s leadership will enhance Boston University’s already strong global-health presence evidenced by its large international health program in the School of Public Health, which has trained approximately 2,000 students from more than 140 countries. Additionally, BUSPH’s Center for International Health spearheads applied research programs throughout the developing world by bringing together clinicians, social scientists, and economists to work on a variety of health and development projects urgently needed by under-resourced countries.

Boston University, the fourth largest independent university in the nation, has an enrollment of more than 29,000. Its 17 schools and colleges includes the Boston University Medical Center. The Boston University Medical Center, located in Boston’s South End, is made up of the Boston University School of Public Health, the Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, and the Boston Medical Center, a private, not-for-profit teaching hospital.

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