Dr. Gary J. Weil will deliver the 2013 NIAID Franklin A. Neva Memorial Lecture. His talk, “The Emergence of Paragonimiasis in Missouri: Clinical Features and Laboratory Aspect,” will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. in Lipsett Amphitheater, Bldg. 10.
Weil is a professor of medicine and of molecular microbiology in the division of infectious diseases at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His laboratory conducts research on parasitic worms that cause diseases such as lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness. His work focuses on basic parasite biology, therapeutics development and the advancement and field application of improved diagnostic tests.
In his lecture, he will describe the largest series of U.S. cases of paragonimiasis, a lung infection caused by the parasitic flatworm Paragonimus kellicotti. People acquire this infection by eating raw or undercooked freshwater crayfish. In 2009, Weil and colleagues published details of three paragonimiasis cases diagnosed since 2006 in people who had eaten raw crayfish from rivers in Missouri. From 2009 to 2010, another six cases were diagnosed in the state. All nine patients had eaten crayfish while on canoeing or camping trips.
Weil earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1975. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital and then spent 3 years training in NIAID’s Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, followed by a fellowship in infectious diseases at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. He has received several NIH grants and is currently principal investigator on the Death to Onchocerciasis and Lymphatic Filariasis project, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This lecture series honors Neva, a noted virologist, parasitologist, clinician and former chief of the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases. He helped grow parasitology research at NIH from a small area of focus to a large program now spread among four different NIAID research groups and involving hundreds of scientific staff at laboratories in Bethesda and abroad. He died in 2011.