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WHO's Lee To Give 4th Annual Barmes Lecture

Dr. Lee Jong-wook, director-general of the World Health Organization, will deliver the 4th annual David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture on Monday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg 10. His talk is titled "Health Challenges for Research in the 21st Century."

Dr. Lee Jong-wook
Lee has been a world leader in the fight against two of the greatest challenges to international health and development — tuberculosis and vaccine-preventable diseases of children. Dedicated to the development of health interventions to reduce poverty, Lee has worked at the country, regional and headquarters level of WHO for 20 years in technical, managerial and policy positions.

Lee began his career at WHO in 1983 as a consultant on leprosy in the South Pacific. A year later, he was appointed team leader for leprosy control in that area. In 1986, he moved to the Western Pacific regional office in Manila, initially in the Regional Leprosy Control Program and later as regional advisor on chronic diseases. From 1990 to 1994, he headed polio eradication initiatives in the Western Pacific. He oversaw a reduction in polio cases from 5,963 to 700 in the region. Lee then moved to WHO headquarters in Geneva as director of the WHO Global Program for Vaccines and Immunization (GPV) and executive secretary of the Children's Vaccine Initiative, a global campaign to develop new and improved vaccines for children.

After heading GPV and serving as senior policy advisor, Lee was appointed director of the Stop TB Department at WHO in 2000. He rapidly built what is internationally recognized as one of the most successful and dynamic global public-private partnerships for health — the Global Partnership to Stop TB. This is a coalition of more than 250 international partners, including WHO member states, donors, non-government organizations, industry and foundations. Lee also launched the Global Drug Facility (GDF), a new initiative to increase access to TB drugs. The GDF is considered a model for increasing access to drugs for other diseases of poverty such as HIV/ AIDS and malaria.

Lee began his 5-year term as WHO director-general (chief technical and administrative officer) on July 21, 2003.

A native of Seoul, he earned his medical doctor degree from Seoul National University and a master of public health degree from the University of Hawaii.

All are welcome to attend the lecture and to meet with Lee afterward at an informal reception in the Masur foyer. The Fogarty International Center and NIDCR jointly support this lecture series, which honors the late David E. Barmes, who was a special expert for international health in the Office of International Health at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

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