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Infectious diseases program gets new leaders

By UTMB Public Affairs — Special to The Daily News — Published March 17, 2010

GALVESTON — Dr. Garland D. Anderson, provost and executive vice president at the University of Texas Medical Branch, has announced a new leadership team for the medical branch’s Galveston National Laboratory.

The lab, the only national laboratory in Texas, serves as a national and international resource for research in the fight against emerging infectious diseases, such as West Nile virus, H1N1, tuberculosis and Ebola.

Dr. James D. LeDuc, professor in the department of microbiology and immunology, will serve as director of the the lab, and Scott C. Weaver, a professor in the department of pathology, will serve as scientific director of the lab and as director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity.

"These internationally recognized scientists will ensure that the Galveston National Laboratory is at the forefront of infectious disease research," Anderson said.

"Their contributions and accomplishments in their areas of expertise are a testament to the great team of researchers and scientists at UTMB."

LeDuc, who has served as deputy director at the lab since 2008, also serves as director for global health in the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity and holds the inaugural Robert E. Shope, M.D., and John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Global Health.

Before coming to the medical branch in 2006, LeDuc directed the division of viral and rickettsial diseases and served as pandemic influenza coordinator, among other positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He and his wife, Maryellen, live on Galveston Island.

Weaver, formerly vice chairman for research in the medical branch’s Department of Pathology, holds the John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Biodefense and is the director for tropical and emerging infectious diseases in the medical branch’s Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases. Weaver joined the medical branch faculty in 1994 following a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University School of Medicine. He and his wife, Dr. Donna Weaver, also live on Galveston Island.

In their roles as director of the lab and director of the IHII, LeDuc and Weaver will succeed Dr. Stanley M. Lemon, who is returning to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a professor in the department of medicine and a member of the Institute for Inflammatory Disorders and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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