Dr. Robert Murphy on Pepfar & Aids

(Above) September 3, 2010 - Robert Murphy, M.D. is the John Phillip Phair Professor of Infectious Diseases, Feinberg School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Northwestern University Medical School. He is also the Director of the Global Health Center at Northwestern and an Attending Physician, Northwestern Medical Center. Dr. Murphy is a Special Advisor to the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and serves as the Professeur Associé de Recherche at the Pierre et Marie Curie Université-Paris in France.

On September 3, 2010, Dr. Murphy shared the encouraging news on the war against HIV/AIDS with the newest class in Developing Health Networks in Rare and Neglected Diseases . Dr. Murphy has been fighting this war since before most of the students in attendance were born and he has a vision to inspire the next generation of scientists and healthcare professionals.

In the early 90's, Dr. Robert Murphy promoted AIDS prevention training for the U.S. Peace Corps physicians caring for volunteers in Western Africa. In 1996, he founded the International AIDS Education Project and continues to serve as its director. In 2003, Dr. Murphy was appointed Nigeria Country Director for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Today, he serves as a Special Advisor to PEPFAR's program in Nigeria, which is supported by the Harvard School of Public Heath. In this capacity, he has established 42 clinics, treating over 100,000 people with HIV/AIDS. He works with the NIH on antiretroviral education in Senegal and with the African Village Clinics Foundation of Chicago on developing an AIDS Clinic in Kenya.

Dr. Murphy's commencement of the Fall 2010 CRND Clinical-Translational Seminar series evinced both his expansive knowledge of current HIV therapies in resource-limited environments around the world and his gift for translating rigorous science and operational complexity to a wide audience. Dr. Murphy's lecture was entitled, "Impact of scaling up HIV therapies in resource-limited settings: morbidity, mortality and cost." Undergraduates in the class engaged Dr. Murphy in a discussion of his work with PEPFAR and the evidence-based research process underlying the delivery of therapeutic interventions.

Dr. Murphy's experience as an early innovator in AIDS prevention and treatment, together with his current appointment as a Special Advisor to PEPFAR give him an extraordinary vantage point to address the evolution of health networks. He discussed the unique national characteristics of health care delivery, medical education and patient compliance in diverse countries and their impact on outcomes. Dr. Murphy stressed the dramatic success of large-scale generic antiretroviral drug administration programs, particularly those which intertwine Tuberculosis screening and prophylaxis with HIV/AIDS treatment. He also related the shift in knowledge and resource sharing between resource-rich and resource-limited nations as local cadres of health professionals have assumed the primary responsibility for direct patient care and the focus of technologically advanced partners has shifted to accelerating the transfer of technology and skills.

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