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David Stephens receives the 2019 Charles R. Hatcher Jr. MD Award

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Jon Lewin, David Stephens, and Jim Curran (l-r) at the Hatcher Award ceremony

David S. Stephens MD has been named the 2019 recipient of the Charles R. Hatcher Jr. MD Award for Excellence in Public Health. Stephens is vice president for research in the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC), a position in which he oversees the WHSC research enterprise and leads planning activities that enhance research programs and collaborations throughout the WHSC and Emory University.

Stephens wears many other hats as well. He is the Stephen W. Schwarzmann Distinguished Professor of Medicine, chair of the Department of Medicine at Emory School of Medicine, professor of microbiology and immunology, and professor of epidemiology at Rollins. He is also chair of the Research Advisory Council in the WHSC and a member of the Executive Committee on the WHSC Leadership Team.

Since joining Emory in 1982, Stephens has led the development of very successful programs in infectious diseases and microbial pathogenesis. He has been a major contributor to the creation and development of the NIH-funded Emory Vaccine Center, the Emory Center for AIDS Research, and the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit at Emory. He is founding principal investigator for Atlanta’s Clinical and Translational Science Alliance (CTSA), a multi-institutional research and clinical trials partnership funded by NIH.

In 1988 Stephens co-founded the Atlanta Active Surveillance Project (now the Georgia Emerging Infections Program), a population-based surveillance and clinical research program. In 2001 he led CDC’s clinical emergency response team in defining clinical issues in prophylaxis, diagnosis, and treatment of Bacillus anthracis infections and has contributed to efforts to combat other infectious disease threats such as epidemic meningitis, SARS, and recently Ebola virus disease.

Stephens has served as the site principal investigator for multiple NIH RO1 and other federal grants, including the NIH-sponsored Southeastern Regional Center of Excellence for Emerging Infections and Biodefense, the CDC-supported Southeastern Center for Emerging Biologic Threats, and the NIH-funded Exploratory Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Vaccinology. He also founded and directed the Emory University NIH K30 Clinical Research Curriculum Award (now a component of the CTSA).

The infectious diseases program he directed has graduated more than 130 fellows, and his laboratory has trained 90 infectious diseases fellows, postdoctoral fellows, medical students, and undergraduates in bacterial pathogenesis.

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