Ksiazek is director of high containment operations for the Galveston National Laboratory. He also directs the National Biodefense Training Center, which provides researchers in the United States and around the world with the skills necessary to work safely with deadly pathogens in high-containment laboratories.
Before he came to UTMB in 2008, he was chief of the Special Pathogens Branch at the CDC, where he coordinated outbreak and control responses to especially dangerous pathogens such as Ebola, Marburg, Rift Valley fever, Nipah and SARS viruses. Ksiazek has been extensively involved for decades in outbreak response and pathogen discovery such as the reemergence of H1N1 in 1977 in Asia and the Hantavirus Pulmonary syndrome and Sin Nombre virus in 1993 in the U.S. Southwest, for which he received a national service award for his work from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He is also co-discoverer of the SARS virus.
The International Symposium on Filoviruses began in 2000 and periodically brings together experts from around the world to discuss advances in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of Ebola and Marburg viruses. Filoviruses are transmitted by close contact between infected patients and caregivers. Often starting in rural hospitals or clinics, health care workers are frequently the ones at greatest risk of infection, and many doctors and nurses treating these patients have themselves succumbed to these deadly viruses. Outbreaks are controlled through strict isolation of patients. There is no effective treatment or vaccine to prevent infection.
However UTMB researchers are working to develop and test new vaccines and broad spectrum treatments of these highly lethal hemorrhagic fever viruses. Thomas Geisbert, a professor in UTMB's Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a member of the Institute for
|Contact: Maureen Balleza|
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston