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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 3, 2006

CDC Flu Expert To Discuss Pandemic Influenza Threat Oct. 6

Nancy Cox, Ph.D., chief of the Influenza Division at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will present "Genesis of an Influenza Pandemic: Preparedness vs. Poultry, Poverty and Practices" from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, in Room 2117 of the Medical Education and Research Facility (MERF) on the University of Iowa campus.

The program is free and open to the public, and also will be broadcast via streaming video on the Web.

An internationally renowned expert on influenza surveillance, prevention and control, Cox will discuss current U.S. and global preparedness efforts for pandemic influenza, as well as challenges to planning strategies.

Cox, who also serves as the director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Influenza, was recognized in 2006 by Time and Newsweek magazines for her work to help the United States and world prepare for a potential influenza pandemic. Time magazine named her one of the "100 Most Influential People of the Year," and Newsweek honored her as one of the "15 People Who Make America Great." She was also honored in September as Federal Employee of the Year by the Partnership for Public Service, a nongovernmental organization.

At the CDC, Cox manages a staff of more than 100. Her team is at the forefront of the government's effort to track and study influenza viruses domestically and to help the world prepare for the next pandemic. The Influenza Division monitors for new flu strains or unusual outbreaks that could signal a pandemic; supports countries worldwide in outbreak investigations; provides recommendations on selection of strains for the annual flu vaccine; and performs a variety of research to understand how influenza viruses spread and cause disease, as well as how genetic changes in the viruses may lead to a pandemic.

A native of Iowa, Cox received a bachelor's degree in bacteriology from Iowa State University in 1970. She was one of about 30 American students awarded a Marshall Scholarship to study in England at the University of Cambridge, where in 1975 she earned a doctoral degree in virology with a dissertation that focused on influenza virus/host interactions.

The recipient of numerous scientific and achievement awards, Cox is a member of the editorial board for the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. She is also a founding member of the International Society for Influenza and other Respiratory Diseases, and she is the author and co-author of more than 175 research articles, reviews and book chapters.

Cox's Oct. 6 presentation is part of the fall 2006 Grand Rounds series sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness (UMCPHP). Advance registration is requested and may be completed online at Links to the live Web broadcast, as well as archives of past presentations, are available on the center's site.

In addition, UI Television (UITV) will be showing the archived presentation. More information about the UITV service area and program schedule can be found on the UITV Web site,

The presentation is sponsored by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, Institute for Public Health Practice, UI College of Public Health, Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Hospital Association and Iowa Medical Society. UMCPHP is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information on the Grand Rounds series, contact Angela Harding, program assistant in the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness, at 319-335-8451 or by e-mail at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Gleeson, 319-384-4277, Writer: Debra Venzke.