With the threat of bioterrorism on the rise, Gregory A. Poland, MD, seeks to strip boundaries between human health care professionals and veterinarians to form a cohesive biodefense partnership.
His session at the AVMA Annual Convention on July 18 in Minneapolis will focus on encouraging veterinarians in all sectors to take a more prominent role in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.
Physicians and veterinarians should work together to develop vaccines and therapeutics, Dr. Poland said.
Currently, Dr. Poland serves as director for the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, which uses research technology to investigate vaccine response issues and novel vaccines important to public health.
Dr. Poland will spotlight anthrax and smallpox during the session. "I'm guessing the average veterinarian in practice probably has not thought about or seen these types of things, as is true in the medical profession," Dr. Poland said. He will also discuss the bioweapons programs in Russia and Iraq to illustrate how other countries approach the issue.
Dr. Poland's other positions at the Mayo Clinic are professor of medicine, infectious diseases, molecular pharmacology, and experimental therapeutics; associate chair of research for the Department of Medicine; director of the Immunization Clinic; and director of the Program in Translational Immunovirology and Biodefense. He also serves as president of the International Society for Vaccines and is the American editor for the journal Vaccine.
During his career, Dr. Poland has earned the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service after participating on the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board. He has received a joint award from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the Health Care Financing Administration for his contribution to increasing adult immunization rates in the United States.
To attend Dr. Poland's session, register for the AVMA Annual Convention at www.avmaconvention.org or call (800) 248-2862, Ext. 4700.