The Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) congratulates its co-founder and associate director, Robert R. Redfield, MD, on his appointment to be the next director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Dr. Robert Redfield, a close colleague for more than 40 years, is an excellent choice to be head of the CDC,” said Robert C. Gallo, MD, the Homer & Martha Gudelsky Distinguished Professor in Medicine, co-founder, and director of the IHV and co-founder and scientific director of the Global Virus Network (GVN). “While it will be a big loss for the institute, we are at a time in our nation’s history when Dr. Redfield’s skills will best be utilized as head of the CDC. He has been an outstanding leader as head of the institute’s Clinical Care and Research Division and a major force in establishing our clinical public health programs in Baltimore to confront the HIV and hepatitis C epidemics in our city and state. With his leadership, Dr. Redfield has also contributed greatly to the institute’s global health programs.”
Redfield is a renowned infectious disease expert, beginning his career in the late 1970s at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He co-founded the Institute of Human Virology in 1996. During his military service, Redfield made several important scientific contributions to the early understanding of HIV/AIDS. Under his leadership, the institute’s patient base has grown from 200 patients to approximately 6,000 in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and more than 1.3 million in African and Caribbean nations. At the institute, Redfield’s research focused on novel strategies to innovatively target host cell pathways to treat and prevent HIV infection and other viral diseases. He also is the Robert C. Gallo, MD, Endowed Professor in Translational Medicine, chief of infectious diseases and vice chair of medicine for clinical affairs in the UMSOM Department of Medicine.
“Dr. Redfield was one of my early collaborators in co-discovering HIV as the cause of AIDS and demonstrating heterosexual transmission of AIDS,” Gallo said. “He is a dedicated and compassionate physician who truly cares about his patients and is deeply committed to ensuring patients receive the highest quality of care possible. Dr. Redfield has served his country well and consistently demonstrates strong public health instincts that are grounded in science and clinical medicine. Despite the loss to the institute, I believe this makes him the ideal candidate to direct the CDC.”
“Dr. Redfield is eminently qualified for this critical position,” said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, executive vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the John Z. Akiko Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. "He has made a lifelong commitment to advancing biomedical research and human health through discovery-based medicine. As co-founder of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute of Human Virology with Dr. Robert Gallo and Dr. William Blattner, he has been one of the most accomplished scientists and public health advocates in the nation in increasing our understanding of the prevention and treatment of infectious disease. His significant contributions have led to the treatment of more than a million HIV patients by the institute in the U.S. and around the world. We wish him great success in this vital role as the nation’s chief protector against the growing threat of infectious disease.”
“Dr. Redfield's longstanding commitment to clinical research and treatment of people with chronic viral infections speaks for itself,” said Jay A. Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. “Through his vision and leadership, the University's expertise has been leveraged to treat and care for hundreds of thousands of HIV/AIDS patients throughout Africa and in the Caribbean and here in our region. I have no doubt that Dr. Redfield will serve this nation extraordinarily well as the leader of its health security agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
“Dr. Redfield is so deserving of this wonderful honor and opportunity,” said Stephen N. Davis, MBBS, the Dr. Theodore E. Woodward Professor and chair of medicine at UMSOM. “Dr. Redfield has made landmark contributions, consistently, to the Department of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His fund of medical knowledge is incredible. He is a compassionate, thoughtful, and astute physician. His innovative research has led him to become a renowned national and international expert on diagnosing, prevention, and management of infectious diseases at both a population and individual level. His exceptional skill as a clinical researcher has allowed him and his teams to make transformative medical breakthroughs both in the U.S. and worldwide. Dr. Redfield is also an immensely talented teacher and skillful administrator. We will miss him tremendously but are so delighted that he will be able to focus his unique abilities on improving the health of this great nation, and indeed the world.”
“Dr. Redfield’s appointment to director of CDC is a brilliant recognition of a great public health advocate, an excellent researcher, and one that has a life of dedication to public service,” said Terry Lierman, chairman of IHV’s Board of Advisors. “This appointment is refreshingly not about politics, but about quality, competence, and compassion. Dr. Redfield encompasses all of those qualities and more.”
About the Institute of Human Virology
Formed in 1996 as a partnership between the state of Maryland, the city of Baltimore, the University System of Maryland, and the University of Maryland Medical System, IHV is an institute of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is home to some of the most globally recognized and world-renowned experts in virology. The IHV combines the disciplines of basic research, epidemiology and clinical research in a concerted effort to speed the discovery of diagnostics and therapeutics for a wide variety of chronic and deadly viral and immune disorders — most notably HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. For more information, go to www.ihv.org and follow us on Twitter @IHVmaryland.