Leading Expert on Public Health and Infectious Disease in Latin America to Keynote Keck Graduate Institute's 7th Annual Fellowship Dinner

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Dr. José Ignacio Santos will be the featured speaker at Keck Graduate Institute’s 7th Annual Fellowship Dinner on Feb. 4. Dr. Santos has spent over 20 years working on public and global health and is a professor in the Department of Experimental Medicine at the School of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Dr. Jose Ignacio Santos

The prevalence of neglected tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, in this region has burdened Latin America throughout centuries and has directly influenced the ability of these countries to compete in the global economy.

Dr. José Ignacio Santos, a leading expert on pediatric infectious diseases, will be the featured speaker at Keck Graduate Institute’s 7th Annual Fellowship Dinner on Wednesday, February 4th. Dr. Santos has spent over 20 years working on public and global health and is a professor in the Department of Experimental Medicine at the School of Medicine of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. His talk will focus on global health issues, innovative international partnerships and the connection between public health and economic development.

“In tropical and subtropical areas in Latin America, the vicious cycle of poverty, disease and underdevelopment is widespread. The prevalence of neglected tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, in this region has burdened Latin America throughout centuries and has directly influenced the ability of these countries to compete in the global economy,” Dr. Santos said. “Innovative new partnerships between government and industry are long overdue if we are to make strides in controlling and potentially eliminating neglected diseases in the developing world.”

KGI’s annual fellowship dinner recognizes the generous sponsors who make it possible for students, who might not otherwise have the resources, to pursue graduate science education. Fellowship sponsors will be honored for their support of students enrolled in KGI’s School of Applied Life Sciences, and, for the first time this year, in its new School of Pharmacy, which admitted its first class in the 2014-2015 academic year. Sponsors include both private individuals and corporate foundations, such as The Allergan Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Genentech Foundation, Gilead, Inc., and the Walgreens.

“Graduate education isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when people think of scholarship support, but these fellowships allow students to get that final training and that competitive advantage that will ultimately enable them to make significant contributions to biomedical research, pharmacy and a number of fields in the life sciences,” KGI President Sheldon Schuster said.

Dr. Santos’ talk is part of KGI’s annual Simon Ramo Lecture series, which showcases achievements in the life sciences by some of the world's top researchers and industry leaders. Prior to joining the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Dr. Santos served as the general director of Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez, the oldest pediatric academic institution in the Western Hemisphere and one of Mexico’s National Institutes of Health. From 1997-2004, he was director of Mexico’s National Infant and Adolescent Health Program and technical secretary of the government’s immunization program. He has trained over 60 fellows in pediatric infectious diseases from 13 Latin American countries, including Mexico, and is a member of the advisory group of Pediatric Global Research Priorities of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Santos received his medical and pediatric training at Stanford University and clinical immunology and infectious diseases training at the University of Utah.

This past December, KGI also was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Mexican government’s Instituto de Mexicanos en el Exterior (Inst. of Mexicans Abroad, or IME) to provide scholarship funding and resources to both international students from Mexico and Mexican-American students interested in pursuing a career in the life sciences.

This year’s Fellowship Dinner will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Ontario Airport in Ontario, California, on Wednesday, February 7. For more information, contact Paige Stein: Paige_Stein(at)kgi(dot)edu or 909.607.0135.

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