College News

The Challenge for Veterinary Medicine in Global Health

PalmerProfessor and founding director of the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health will discuss issues associated with feeding a growing population while providing protection from zoonotic disease, controlling antibiotic resistance, and ensuring environmental quality at the 2012 George C. Poppensiek Visiting Professor of Global Health lecture on Friday, October 5, 2012, at 6:00 pm in the Veterinary Education Center at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. The presentation, which will be offered in the Lecture Hall 1, is open to the public with complimentary admission.

“Over half of the world's population lives on less than US$2 per day, resulting in economic and food security being primary drivers of daily life and of health,” said Palmer. “Both rural and peri-urban communities share their environment with animals, reflecting the dependence upon livestock for household welfare. Feeding a growing population safely and sustainably is a major challenge for global health and sustainable development. Can and will veterinary medicine meet these challenges?”

Dr. Palmer currently leads disease control programs in east Africa and Latin America as well as directing laboratory research at Washington State. He heads the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Training Program in Infectious Diseases and Microbial Immunology and holds an NIH MERIT award for research on pathogen emergence. Dr. Palmer presently serves as President of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, on the Executive Committee of the Washington Global Health Alliance, and on the advisory boards of the NIH Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, the Northwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and the Kansas State University Biosecurity Research Institute. He also serves as an adviser to the Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Training Program on Molecular Epidemiology of Food-borne Pathogens in Eastern Africa, and is a member of the NIH College of Scientific Review.

For his research at the interface of animal disease and human public health, Dr. Palmer was elected to membership in National Academy of Sciences in 2006 where he is a current member of the Board on Global Health within the Institute of Medicine. A Medical Sciences Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Palmer has been honored with numerous awards including the Merck Award for Creativity and the Sahlin Award for Research. Dr. Palmer is a summa cum laude graduate in biology from Kansas State University where he also received his DVM; in 2009 he was recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award and in 2011 was designated an Alumni Fellow. A board-certified pathologist, Dr. Palmer received his PhD in Infectious Diseases from Washington State University and in 2011 was awarded an honorary doctorate for his work in global health from the University of Bern in Switzerland.

Dr. Palmer holds the Jan and Jack Creighton Endowed Chair in Global Health at Washington State University where he is Regents Professor of Pathology and Infectious Diseases and is Professor of Life Sciences and Bioengineering at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology. He serves as the founding Director of the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, a multi-disciplinary institute with the mission of addressing global disease challenges through research, education, global outreach, and application of disease control at the animal-human interface.

The George C. Poppensiek Visiting Professorship in Global Animal Health is supported by an endowment honoring Dr. Poppensiek, the fifth Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine (serving from 1959 to 1974) in recognition of his interest and contributions to international animal health.

Published October 2, 2012