News Release: Research , School of Medicine , School of Nursing , School of Public Health , Winship Cancer Institute , Woodruff Health Sciences

Sep. 6,  2011

Public Health and Medical Experts on 9/11 Issues Available

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Emory University experts in public health, medicine and nursing are available to discuss a variety of topics related to the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH)

Infectious disease and disease surveillance

Ruth L. Berkelman, MD professor, director of Emory’s Center for Public Health Preparedness and Research (CPHPR) and the Emory Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (PERRC)  

Berkelman and her colleagues at CPHPR help communities prepare for and respond to bioterrorism and other threats to public health, including emerging infectious diseases and natural disasters.  She directs a CDC-supported grant to provide the evidence base for creating and sustaining public health systems of preparedness. She is internationally recognized in infectious diseases and disease surveillance.

Ellen A. Spotts Whitney, MPH, director of research projects for CPHPR and associate director, Emory PERRC

Whitney’s research focuses on epidemiology and surveillance for emerging infectious diseases, including zoonotic pathogens that may be transmitted from animals to humans, as well as public health systems research in preparedness.

Emergency response systems

Kathy Miner, PhD, MPH, associate dean of applied public health

From 2002 to 2010, Miner and her colleagues at the CPHPR trained Georgia’s health workforce via podcasts, CD-ROMS and other interactive technology. She is currently researching the use and response of Incident Command Systems (ICSs) and Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) during public health crises to determine how they can be improved to help public health agencies prevent or control disease and injury during emergency events.

The role of academic institutions in community disaster response

Alexander Isakov, MD, MPH, executive director of Emory's Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response

Isakov and colleagues are examining the role of academic institutions in community disaster response and exploring how schools can collaborate in a time of crisis. Schools are an often-overlooked community partners but can offer a variety of resources including shelter, a public communications infrastructure, Internet technology resources and expertise in public health, medicine, language translation and other areas.

Protecting vulnerable populations

David Howard, PhD, associate professor of health policy and management

Howard is assessing the current preparedness plans of nursing homes, home health agencies and dialysis centers to help providers improve their preparedness strategies and develop stronger connections with state and local disaster planners.

Vaccine safety, shortages and distribution

Saad Omer, PhD, MPH, MBBA, assistant professor of global health, epidemiology and pediatrics

Omer is leading a research project that focuses on determining how public and private immunization systems can be leveraged to combat vaccine-related and other types of public health emergencies requiring distribution of countermeasures to the population.  

Anthrax investigation and response to bioterrorism

Philip S. Brachman, MD, professor of global health

Brachman conducted field investigations into earlier anthrax outbreaks and is author of a 2002 article in the American Journal of Epidemiology: Bioterrorism: An update with a focus on anthrax: 155(11): 981-987, 2002

Emory University School of Medicine

Infectious disease and preparedness

James M. Hughes, MD, professor of medicine and public health, executive director of the Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats, senior scientific advisor for infectious diseases, International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI); current president, Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA).

Prior to joining Emory in June 2005, Hughes worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as Director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases.

His research focuses on emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, vectorborne and zoonotic diseases, foodborne diseases and the rapid detection of and response to infectious diseases and bioterrorism.

Mental health

Nadine Kaslow, MD, professor and vice chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences

Kaslow can comment on a broad array of mental health topics relevant to children, women and families and coping during times of tragedy.

Psychology of Terrorism

Anthony Lemieux, PhD, visiting associate professor for the School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, is an expert on the topics of terrorist motivations, radicalization and the psychology of terrorism.

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

Possible cancer risk for 9/11 first responders

Walter J. Curran, Jr., MD, executive director Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

Curran can respond to a recent Lancet study about the first responders and their exposure to toxic dust and fumes after the World Trade Center towers collapsed.

Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University

Environmental and occupational health

Dean Linda McCauley, PhD, FAAN, FAAOHN

McCauley is an expert on the impact of environmental and occupational health hazards resulting from catastrophic events such as 9/11.

Emory University experts in Islam, human rights, Muslims in America, law, ethics and terrorism are also available to discuss the long-term effects of 9/11. Please visit:


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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