Jeffrey Koplan has led global health initiatives for Emory University since the establishment of the Emory Global Health Institute in 2006. He leads the institute and, since 2008, has held the title of vice president of global health.
It’s not a new realm for Koplan, who has a master’s in public health from Harvard to go with his medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He served as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1998 to 2002 before moving down the street to Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center as vice president for academic health affairs.
Koplan is the guest speaker for the next meeting of the Jewish Breakfast Club at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 11, at the offices of Greenberg Traurig, 3333 Piedmont Road, Suite 2500, Buckhead.
Koplan took time while traveling to answer the AJT’s Four Questions.
AJT: Why does Emory University have a Global Health Institute?
Koplan: Global health has been a very hot topic on university campuses for the past decade — exciting both students and faculty, along with donors, philanthropies, the government and the private sector.
AJT: What attracted you to public health in general and global health in particular?
Koplan: For both, the opportunity to have the biggest impact with those most in need.
AJT: What achievement in your public health career are you proudest of, and why?
Koplan: Having the opportunity to be the director of the CDC — the world’s premier public health institution with an extraordinarily accomplished, multidisciplinary workforce.
AJT: How dangerous is the Zika virus, and what is Emory doing in response to its emergence?
Koplan: Zika virus poses a particularly serious threat — especially to pregnant women and their families, but potentially to all who are infected. We may not fully appreciate the extent of its threat in terms of various outcomes and disabilities to multiple age groups for several years.