This year, coronavirus expert Linda Saif, PhD, joins the ranks of veteran newsman Tom Brokaw and AIDS activist Richard Gere, as a recipient of a 2005 Impact Award for being one of the top 10 people who have improved the world. The AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people over 50, gives the award.
Dr. Saif, a professor in the Food Animal Health Research Program and the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at The Ohio State University, was out of the country and could not be reached for comment, but her husband, Dr. Y.M. "Mo" Saif, chair of that program, says she was quite surprised. "She did not expect it," he said.
The AARP applauded Dr. Saif for her research on animal coronaviruses and severe acute respiratory syndrome, and for serving on SARS advisory committees. Dr. Saif was the World Health Organization's lead consultant on SARS, and her laboratory became part of an international network of laboratories organized to fight the disease. She also served on the SARS advisory committee at the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Saif has spent her entire career at OSU and is a world-renowned researcher of enteric animal diseases. She works primarily with pathogens such as rotavirus, calicivirus, and coronavirus. She has received many awards and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. She publishes frequently in journals, including the American Journal of Veterinary Research and occasionally, JAVMA.