Pardee Center Hosts Livestreamed Seminar on Coronavirus and the Future of Infectious Disease


On April 1, the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and the Center for the Study of Asia hosted a livestreamed seminar titled “Coronavirus and the Future of Infectious Disease.”

The seminar featured a panel discussion including Nahid Bhadelia (Associate Professor, Medicine/Infectious Diseases, BU School of Medicine), Davidson Hamer (Professor, Global Health & Medicine, BU School of Public Health & BU School of Medicine), and Gerald T. Keusch (Professor, Medicine & International Health, BU School of Medicine & BU School of Public Health). The discussion was moderated by Pardee School Dean Adil Najam.

The discussion, which was watched live on YouTube by an audience of nearly 200 people from around the world, focused on the actions that individuals can take to contain the contagion, as well as on the global implications of the pandemic. The panelists discussed the impacts of COVID-19 on the health systems of under-resourced countries and why even many of the most prosperous countries find themselves unprepared for this crisis.

The video of the full discussion can be viewed above.


Nahid Bhadelia

Dr. Nahid Bhadelia is an infectious diseases physician and the medical director of Special Pathogens Unit at Boston University School of Medicine, a medical unit designed to care for patients with highly communicable diseases. She is an Associate Professor in the Section of Infectious Diseases. She oversees the medical response program for Boston University’s maximum containment biosafety level 4 program at National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories.

During the West African Ebola epidemic, she served as a clinician in several Ebola treatment units, working with World Health Organization and Partners in Health. She currently serves as the clinical lead for the Joint Mobile Emerging Disease Intervention Clinical Capability (JMEDICC) program which a joint US-Ugandan effort to create clinical research capacity to combat viral hemorrhagic fevers in Uganda at the border of Democratic Republic of Congo. She serves on national and interagency groups focused on medical countermeasures, the intersection between public health preparedness, research and clinical care for emerging pathogens. Her research focuses on identification of safe and effective clinical interventions and infection control measures related to viral hemorrhagic fevers.

She has served as a subject matter expert to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and World Bank.

Dr. Bhadelia is also an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Human Security at the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, where she teaches a course on human security and emerging infectious diseases. She received her Doctorate of Medicine from Tufts University and completed her internal medicine residency and chief residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Her Infectious Diseases Fellowship was completed at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

Davidson Hamer

Davidson Hamer, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FASTMH, FISTM is a Professor of Global Health and Medicine at the Boston University School of Public Health and School of Medicine, and Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Dr. Hamer, a board-certified specialist in infectious diseases with a particular interest in tropical infectious diseases, has extensive field experience in neonatal and child survival research including studies of micronutrient interventions, maternal and neonatal health, malaria, pneumonia, and diarrheal diseases. During the last 20+ years, he has supervised and provided technical support to more than 50 studies in developing countries that evaluated interventions for improving neonatal survival, improving access for pregnant women to emergency obstetrical care, treatment and prevention of malaria, HIV/AIDS, micronutrient deficiencies, diarrheal disease, and pneumonia. Dr. Hamer received a MD from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and a BA in biology and French from Amherst College. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Infectious Diseases Society of America, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and the International Society of Travel Medicine. Dr. Hamer currently has active projects in Bangladesh, Zambia, South Africa, and the United States. Major current projects include neonatal sepsis prevention using prebiotics and probiotics in Bangladesh; using community health workers to improve early childhood development in rural South Africa, antiretroviral adherence among congenitally infected HIV-positive children in Lusaka, Zambia; and a scaled-up evaluation of community-based mothers’ groups for improving early child development in rural Zambia. In addition, Dr. Hamer is the PI for the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network, a global network of 70 sites in 31 countries that conducts surveillance of emerging infectious diseases using returning travelers, immigrants, and refugees as sentinels of infection (

Gerald T. Keusch

Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Keusch has been involved in clinical medicine, teaching, and research for his entire career, most recently as Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and Senior Attending Physician and Chief of the Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the New England Medical Center in Boston. His research has ranged from the molecular pathogenesis of tropical infectious diseases to field research in nutrition, immunology, host susceptibility, and the treatment of tropical infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS. He was a Faculty Associate at Harvard Institute for International Development in the Health Office. Dr. Keusch was the Director of Training Programs in Infectious Disease, including HIV, with over 200 graduates of the program from the U.S. and developing countries who are serving presently in important positions in academic and government institutions.

Under his leadership, the programs of the Fogarty International Center were greatly expanded and focused on the creation of a global culture of science and to harness science for global health. Fogarty now supports research, capacity building, and science policy on the pressing global issues in infectious diseases, the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases, and critical crosscutting social science issues such as the ethical conduct of research, intellectual property rights and global public goods, stigma, the impact of improved health on economic development, and the effect of economic development on the environment and health.

Dr. Keusch is the recipient of all three of the major awards from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (the Squibb, Finland, and Bristol awards for research and training excellence) and has delivered numerous named lectures on topics of science and global health at leading institutions around the world. Dr. Keusch continues to be involved in international health training and policy with the NIH, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, the United Nations University, and the World Health Organization.