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The Houston Zoo, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine and the National School of Tropical Medicine will be sponsoring a symposium focusing on emerging diseases as influenced by habitat destruction and change. Many of the deadliest and emerging diseases are zoonoses and due to habitat destruction, human and animal crowding, and agricultural practices. The symposium will include international scholars and experts from both the symposium sponsors and outside institutions. There will be formal presentations, panel discussions and informal gatherings.
Stephen Morse, Ph.D., Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Columbia University
Having originated the term and concept of emerging diseases, Dr. Morse will present on emerging diseases and bioterrorism.
Gregory Bossart, VMD, Ph.D, Senior Vice President and Chief Veterinary Officer, Georgia Aquarium
Dr. Bossart will present on marine animals as sentinels for human disease.
Dickson Despommier, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University
Dr. Despommier will introduce the concept of vertical and urban farming to help protect the environment.
Peter Hotez, MD, Ph.D, Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Hotez will present on tropical diseases and their impact on global health and development.
Tammy Beckham, DVM, Ph.D, Director, Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Excellence for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Diseases (FAZD Center) and Director Texas Veterinary Diagnositic Laboratory
Dr. Beckham will talk about animal diseases associated with bioterrorism and zoonotic diseases.
Max Essex DVM, Ph.D., Professor and Chairman, Harvard School of Public Health AIDS Initiative
Dr. Essex will briefly discuss the zoonotic origins of HIV but primarily focus on its phylogenetics,
natural history, and transmission. He won the Lasker Award with a group of scientists that
first identified SIV and suggested that HIV was caused by a retrovirus.
Members of the faculty and staff of the sponsoring institutions will also be giving presentations and participating in the panel discussions.
The symposium is scheduled for February 13-15, 2014 and will be held on the grounds and meeting facilities of The Houston Zoo.
Registration Fee – $250
The registration fee will include all meetings, social gatherings, a reception and two lunches. Registration will be limited to two hundred people and a webpage will be developed for registration, complete agenda and speaker list.
Information on accommodations near the Zoo coming soon.