NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

CDC Director To Present on Infectious Harms of Opioid Crisis

Dr. Robert Redfield
Dr. Robert Redfield

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will deliver the 2018 Joseph J. Kinyoun Memorial Lecture on the intersection between the national opioid crisis and the management of infectious diseases. The NIH community and the public are invited to hear his remarks on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 3 p.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10.

Titled, “Opioids: Epidemic of Our Time and Impact on Infectious Disease,” Redfield’s talk will explore the impacts of the unprecedented use of opioids in the United States on the management of infectious diseases. While overdose remains the leading cause of death among people who use opioids, this population is also disproportionately affected by viral hepatitis, bacterial endocarditis, HIV and other infections associated with sharing and reusing needles to inject drugs and other behaviors linked to illicit drug use.

The opioid epidemic presents substantial challenges to controlling infectious disease transmission. In the United States, new hepatitis C infections increased by 223 percent from 2010 to 2016, and one in 10 new HIV infections occurs in people who inject drugs. Redfield will discuss the roles that federal public health partners including CDC and NIH can play in addressing this crisis.

Redfield became the 18th CDC director and the administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in March 2018, capping more than three decades of leadership in public health, research and clinical care with a focus in virology. 

After receiving his medical degree from Georgetown University in 1977, Redfield rose to the rank of colonel at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he led some of the earliest clinical studies enrolling people with AIDS. He later became a co-founder of the University of Maryland’s Institute of Human Virology. 

The annual Kinyoun Lecture commemorates Dr. Joseph J. Kinyoun who, in 1887, founded the Laboratory of Hygiene, the institution that later would become NIH. Since 1979, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has invited distinguished guests to present their work in the fields of infectious diseases and immunology for this lectureship.

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