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Dr. George Rutherford named interim director of Institute for Global Health

22 July 2002

George W. Rutherford, MD, a University of California, Berkeley adjunct professor of epidemiology and a leading expert on the public health aspects of infectious diseases, has been appointed interim director of the Institute for Global Health (IGH), a joint initiative of UC San Francisco and Berkeley.

Dr. George Rutherford

Rutherford will direct the IGH in the absence of another UC Berkeley professor, Dr. Richard Feachem, who has taken a two-year leave of absence to serve as executive director of the U.N. Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, based in Geneva.

Rutherford’s appointment, which is effective immediately, was announced by Haile Debas, dean of the UCSF School of Medicine.

"Dr. Rutherford brings to the task an outstanding track record in public health research and practice, including a number of senior academic and government positions," said Dean Debas. "The school welcomes Dr. Rutherford to his new leadership role and wishes Dr. Feachem every success in his new and challenging position."

Rutherford is currently the Salvatore Pablo Lucia Professor and head of the Division of Preventive Medicine and Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF, adjunct professor of epidemiology and health administration at UC Berkeley, director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies’ International Program, and director of the Joint UCSF-UCB Residency Program in Public Health and General Preventive Medicine.

"It is an honor to accept this post, " said Rutherford. "The Institute for Global Health is not only changing the way leaders, scientists, and policymakers view international public health, but also helping them to reach consensus on the most important health priorities of our time. I look forward to helping the IGH expand its research and training programs."

Rutherford’s experience in the public health field includes service as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) from 1982-84, while also carrying out duties as Director of Immunization and Tropical Disease Divisions in the New York City Department of Health. From 1985-90, he was director of the AIDS Office in the San Francisco Public Department of Health. He became State Epidemiologist for California from 1990-92. In 1993, Rutherford was named State Health Officer for California, serving for three years as the top physician in the state health department.

Much of Rutherford’s research and work has focused on the natural history of HIV infection, and the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS infection in California and Latin America. He has also studied the epidemiology and prevention of tuberculosis, syphilis, and coccidioidomycosis (a fungal infection endemic to the Southwestern United States), and the interplay between managed care and public health.

The Institute for Global Health was founded in 1999 by UCSF and UC Berkeley to improve health and increase access to effective and affordable health services in all countries. The IGH maintains a small core staff in San Francisco and works with prominent scientists and leaders from around the world to conduct research, provide high-level training, and influence health policies in the public and private sectors.

For further information, contact:

Grace Tang
Institute for Global Health