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|Donald Ainslie Henderson|
D.A. Henderson with his Presidential Medal of Freedom in July 2002
September 7, 1928 |
|Institutions||World Health Organization, Johns Hopkins University|
|Known for||Eradicating Smallpox|
|Notable awards||Ernst Jung Prize (1976)
Public Welfare Medal (1978)
National Medal of Science (1986)
Japan Prize (1988)
Presidential Medal of Freedom (2002)
Donald Ainslie Henderson (born September 7, 1928), known as D.A. Henderson, is an American physician and epidemiologist, who headed the international effort during the 1960s to eradicate smallpox. As of 2010[update], he is a Distinguished Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Center for Biosecurity and a professor of public health and medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Service Professor and Dean Emeritus of the School of Public Health, with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology.
Henderson was born in Lakewood, Ohio in the United States. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1950 and received his M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1954. He served both an internship (1954–1955) and a residency (1957–1959) in medicine at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, New York. He earned an M.P.H. degree in 1960 from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health (now the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health).
Between his internship and residency (1955–1957) and again from 1960–1966, he worked in the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Communicable Disease Center (CDC; now the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), where he created a Smallpox Surveillance Unit to deal with imports of the disease into the USA.
Eradication of smallpox
In 1972 Henderson helped suppress an outbreak of smallpox in Yugoslavia, the last epidemic of smallpox in Europe. In 1974 he was stationed in India during one of the largest epidemics in the 20th century and was instrumental in initiating the global program of immunization. This program has vaccinated 80 percent of the world's children against six major diseases and is striving to eradicate poliomyelitis.
The smallpox eradication campaign came to a successful conclusion in 1977 when the last case was reported in Somalia. It thus became the first infectious disease to be wiped out.
From 1977 through August 1990, Henderson was dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. His government service was first as associate director, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President (1991–1993), and later as deputy assistant secretary and senior science advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS). He is also currently a senior advisor to the federal government and the HHS on civilian biodefense issues. He rejoined the faculty of Johns Hopkins in June 1995 after five years of federal government service.
In October 2001, Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Services, named Henderson chair of a new national advisory council on public health preparedness which is charged with improving the national public health infrastructure to better counter bioterrorist attacks. As the principal science advisor for public health preparedness in HHS and chair of the Secretary's Council on Public Health Preparedness, Henderson is in charge of coordinating department-wide response to public health emergencies. He was also the founding director in 1998 of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, which he has directed for the past four years, and has numerous publications to his credit.
The Donald A. Henderson Collection at Johns Hopkins spans his entire career there, including newspaper articles, honors, biographical material, lecture notes, speeches, and correspondence as well as awards such as the Japan Prize and the Public Welfare Medal. Presently, he holds an appointment as Professor and Resident Scholar at the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which has created a professorship honoring him as of September 26, 2004. Additionally, he continues his appointment as Professor and Dean Emeritus at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
Honours and awards
- 1976 - Ernst Jung Prize
- 1978 - Public Welfare Medal, the National Academy of Sciences' highest award.
- 1986 - The National Medal of Science in Biology, presented by the President of the United States.
- 1988 - The Japan Prize, shared with Isao Arita and Frank Fenner.
- 1994 - Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal
- 1995 - John Stearns Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Medicine from the New York Academy of Medicine.
- 1996 - The Edward Jenner Medal, received from the Royal Society of Medicine.
- 2000 - He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, one of just 12 Honorary Fellows among the Academy's 2,500 members.
- 2002 - The Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush for a lifetime of work in the service of his country and humanity.
- 2013 - Order of Brilliant Star, with Grand Cordon
- A total of 16 universities have conferred honorary degrees and 14 countries have honored him with awards and decorations, as well as WHO and the Pan American Health Organization.
- Langmuir AD, Henderson DA, Serfling RE, Sherman IL (Feb 1962). "The importance of measles as a health problem". Am J Public Health Nations Health 52 (2 Suppl): 1–4. doi:10.2105/AJPH.52.Suppl_2.1. PMC 1522578. PMID 14462171.
- Foege WH, Millar JD, Henderson DA (1975). "Smallpox eradication in West and Central Africa". Bull World Health Organ 52 (2): 209–22. PMC 2366358. PMID 1083309.
- Henderson DA (Jan 1994). "Reflections on epidemic neuromyasthenia (chronic fatigue syndrome)". Clin Infect Dis. 18. Suppl 1: S3–6; discussion S7–9. PMID 8148450.
- Henderson DA (Feb 1999). "The looming threat of bioterrorism". Science 283 (5406): 1279–82. doi:10.1126/science.283.5406.1279. PMID 10037590.
- Henderson DA, Inglesby TV, Bartlett JG, et al (Jun 1999). "Smallpox as a biological weapon: medical and public health management. Working Group on Civilian Biodefense". JAMA 281 (22): 2127–37. doi:10.1001/jama.281.22.2127. PMID 10367824.
- Inglesby TV, O'Toole T, Henderson DA, et al (May 2002). "Anthrax as a biological weapon, 2002: updated recommendations for management". JAMA 287 (17): 2236–52. doi:10.1001/jama.287.17.2236. PMID 11980524.
- Smallpox: The Death of a Disease by D.A. Henderson
- Personal communication, Dr. Henderson, July 29, 2013.
- "Public Welfare Award". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
- "The President's National Medal of Science: Recipient Details Donald A. Henderson". U.S. National Science Foundation. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
- "The John Stearns Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Medicine". New York Academy of Medicine. Retrieved February 19, 2011.