Walt Orenstein, MD

LG Collaborations and Publications Committee Chair
Walt Orenstein, MD

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Dr. Orenstein has an outstanding background in vaccinology and has co-edited the standard textbook in the field, Plotkin’s Vaccines, for the last five editions. Between 2012 and 2016, he served as Chairman of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee. One of the reports issued during this period dealt with strengthening global immunization including building global vaccine research and development capacity. He is the immediate past President of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), an organization dedicated to educating professional and public audiences on detection, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases. He also has significant experience in leading programs across multiple institutional platforms.  Dr. Orenstein spent 26 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) including 16 years as the Director of the United States Immunization Program. During the time he served as Director of the National Immunization Program (NIP), the NIP eliminated indigenous measles and rubella, established an implementation science research group within NIP, built a comprehensive vaccine safety monitoring and evaluation system, strengthened surveillance of vaccine-preventable diseases, and built a research agenda dealing with assessment of evaluating vaccine effectiveness and optimizing it as well as evaluation of various strategies to minimize the occurrence of vaccine-preventable diseases. In 2004, Dr. Orenstein joined Emory University as a Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Global Health with a focus on vaccine policy related research including implementation science, and then left Emory in 2008 to joint with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) as Deputy Director for Immunization Programs with a focus on polio eradication. He returned to Emory in 2011 to serve as the Director of the Emory Vaccine Center, and Principal Investigator of a NIAID Contract, with Emory and the University of Georgia as a Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS), which is comprised of 5 programs across the US. The Emory-UGA CEIRS consists of projects to help understand influenza pathogenesis, surveillance in animal populations, immunologic response to vaccines and infection, and potential new platform technologies to develop improved vaccines.

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