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UMSOM Global Health Expert Named to Prestigious World Health Organization Immunization Panel

November 02, 2018 | Joanne Morrison

Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH

Dr. Kathleen Neuzil Will be Only U.S. Member to Serve on WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE)

Kathleen Neuzil, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health (CVD) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), has been named to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization.

Dr. Neuzil’s term, which was approved by the Director-General of the WHO, will be effective from January 2019 through December 2021. SAGE was established by the Director-General of the WHO in 1999 to provide guidance on the work of WHO. SAGE is the principal advisory group to WHO for vaccines and immunization and advises WHO on overall global policies and strategies, ranging from vaccines and technology, research and development, to delivery of immunization and its linkages with other health interventions. SAGE is concerned not just with childhood vaccines and immunization, but all vaccine-preventable diseases.

“I am honored to serve on SAGE and to contribute to better health for children around the world through thoughtful, evidence-based global health policy. Assuring access to vaccines in the world’s poorest countries is my passion and can save millions of lives,” said Dr. Neuzil.

Dr. Neuzil is uniquely positioned to contribute to the mission of SAGE. She has dedicated her career to reducing and eliminating vaccine-preventable diseases in children and adults. As an academic, Dr. Neuzil has published extensively in the field of vaccinology, and her research has informed health policy and advanced vaccine programs throughout the world. Dr. Neuzil is currently leading the Typhoid Vaccine Acceleration Consortium (TyVAC) to bring much-needed typhoid vaccines to Africa and Asia.

‌‌Dr. Neuzil is likewise experienced in the vaccine policy realm, having served as a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for many years and in a number of other vaccine policy roles for professional, governmental, and global organizations. She previously served as a technical advisor to WHO on influenza, diarrheal diseases, vaccine safety, and maternal immunization.

“Dr. Neuzil has decades of experience in vaccines and infectious disease research and global health program implementation. She will bring her expertise, energy, and passion to this new role as a member of SAGE,” said UMSOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world -- with 43 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs; and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished recipient of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research.  With an operating budget of more than $1 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic and clinically-based care for more than 1.2 million patients each year. The School has over 2,500 students, residents, and fellows, and more than $530 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total workforce of nearly 7,000 individuals. The combined School and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of nearly $6 billion and an economic impact more than $15 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine faculty, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity, is an innovator in translational medicine, with 600 active patents and 24 start-up companies. The School works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit

About the UMSOM Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health 

For over 40 years, researchers in the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health have worked domestically and internationally to develop, test, and deploy vaccines to aid the world’s underserved populations. CVD is an academic enterprise engaged in the full range of infectious disease intervention from basic laboratory research through vaccine development, pre-clinical and clinical evaluation, large-scale pre-licensure field studies, and post-licensure assessments. CVD has worked to eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases. CVD has created and tested vaccines against cholera, typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, non-typhoidal salmonella disease, shigellosis (bacillary dysentery), Escherichia coli diarrhea, nosocomial pathogens, tularemia, influenza, and other infectious diseases.

CVD’s research covers the broader goal of improving global health by conducting innovative, leading research in Baltimore and around the world. CVD researchers are developing new and improved ways to diagnose, prevent, treat, control, and eradicate diseases of global impact. Currently, these diseases include malaria, typhoid, shigella and vaccine-preventable infectious diseases. CVD researchers have been involved in critical vaccine development for emerging pathogens such as Zika and Ebola. In addition, CVD’s work focuses on the ever-growing challenge of anti-microbial resistance. 


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