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Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Discussion Group

Preparing to fight tomorrow’s disease outbreaks, today

Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Discussion Group

Infectious diseases kill more people worldwide than any other single cause. For most of human history, infection with a bacterium, virus, or parasite—passed from person to person, transmitted by insect or animal bites, or present in contaminated food, water, or the environment—often led to severe illness or death. While sanitation, pasteurization, vaccines, antibiotics, and public health education have helped control infectious disease outbreaks, emerging and re-emerging infections are a significant health threat to the global population.

The complex relationship between host and pathogen

Every year, nearly 4 million people die from the “Big Three”: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Real progress in combating these diseases and other infectious diseases— like Zika, Ebola, dengue, and influenza—can only be made with a deep scientific understanding of pathogen biology, the human immune system, and the complex interplay between them.

Our portfolio of events and publications in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases is designed to surface new discoveries and tackle current challenges in biomedical research and public health efforts to understand, treat, control, and prevent over 200 known infectious diseases. Beyond a better understanding of infectious disease etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and care, we also explore broader issues such as the roles that human demographics and behavior, international travel and commerce, technology and industry, economic development, microbial adaptation and change, and the breakdown of public health measures play in the complex coexistence of microbes and man.

Did you know that mosquitos kill more than 1 million people each year through the transmission of malaria alone? Add that to the numbers of people sickened and killed by other mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, dengue fever, yellow fever, West Nile virus, and chikungunya, and mosquitoes can be considered one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet.


Sonya Dougal, PhD


Steering Committee Members

The Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Discussion Group Steering Committee, composed of multi-sector and multi-institutional scientists from the Academy’s network, provides thought leadership on key issues of interest to the microbiology and infectious disease communities, helping to inform and shape our program portfolio.

Annaliesa S. Anderson, PhD
Doris Bucher, PhD
New York Medical College
Nancy Connell, PhD
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Johanna P. Daily, MD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Sonya Dougal, PhD
The New York Academy of Sciences
Matthew Evans, PhD
Icahn School of Medicine and Mount Sinai
Vincent Fischetti, PhD
The Rockefeller University
Allan Goldberg, PhD
Avacyn Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Lorrence Green, PhD
Westbury Diagnostics, Inc
Takushi Kaneko, PhD
TB Alliance
Barry Kreiswirth, PhD
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
W. Ian Lipkin, MD
Columbia University
Caitlin McOmish, PhD
The New York Academy of Sciences
Stephen Morse, PhD
Columbia University
Paul Offit, MD
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
David Perlin, PhD
Public Health Research Institute, New Jersey Medical School/ Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Shirley Raps, PhD
Hunter College, City University of New York
Yegor Voronin, PhD
Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise
Michael Watson, MD
Moderna Therapeutics