Following are the speakers who took part in the Coronavirus and Pandemic Disease Preparedness: What We Know and the Way Forward event on February 19, 5:30-7:30, in UW Seattle, and the event agenda. For a video of the event click here.

David Baker is the Henrietta and Aubrey Davis Endowed Professor in Biochemistry, Director of the Institute for Protein Design, Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and adjunct professor of Genome Sciences, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, and Physics at the University of Washington. His research group is focused on the prediction and design of macromolecular structures, interactions and functions. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences. His research group is a world leader in computational protein design and protein structure prediction.


Janet Baseman is a Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Public Health Practice at the UW School of Public Health. She has led several research projects related to public health emergency preparedness and response systems as an investigator at the Northwest Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center, which conducts research and develops tools/trainings to improve all-hazards preparedness and response systems in the U.S. In the Department of Epidemiology she teaches EPI 201: Outbreak Investigation and Response and directs the Student Epidemic Action Leaders (SEAL) Team program, which trains public health graduate students in applied epidemiology and deploys them to support our state and local public health agencies based on the agencies’ real-time needs.


Beth Bell is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, University of Washington, where she has worked on emerging infectious diseases and the development of the MetaCenter for Pandemic Preparedness and Global Health Security. Before her retirement in January 2017, Dr. Bell worked for over 20 years at the CDC in vaccine preventable and emerging infectious diseases. During her CDC career, Dr. Bell played a leadership role in a number of large emergency responses, including the 2001 anthrax attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the 2009 influenza pandemic, the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak, and the 2016-17 Zika outbreak. During the last six years at CDC, she was the Director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, where she was responsible for a broad array of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, including high consequence pathogens, foodborne, vectorborne, and healthcare associated infections, and antimicrobial resistance.


Timothy Dellit is a UW Professor of Medicine & Infectious Diseases. He is the UW Medicine Chief Medical Officer, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs/Clinical Risk Management at the UW and Associate Medical Director at Harborview Medical Center. His interests are focused on the reduction of healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial resistance, systematic improvements in healthcare quality, and clinical risk management.   He is an expert in general infectious diseases and the prevention of healthcare-associated infections. By incorporating patients’ perspectives and goals, he strives to create an active partnership that improves patients’ care and understanding.


George Diaz has been practicing Infectious Diseases at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett (PRMCE) since completing his training in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington in 2005. He is currently practicing as a hospital based Infectious Diseases provider. Additionally, he is the Medical Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship at PRMCE. He also works for Providence St. Joseph Health as a System Provider Informaticist, which focuses on improving the Infectious Diseases care of patients by improving the electronic medical record. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Washington State University College of Medicine.


Scott Dowell is currently leading the foundation’s coronavirus response. He is a pediatric infectious disease specialist and focuses on tracking the causes of global childhood mortality for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  He joined the foundation after 21 years at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he studied viral and bacterial pneumonia, and responded to outbreaks of Ebola and other pathogens.  He established and directed the International Emerging Infections Program in Thailand, a collaboration that received accolades from both the Thai and U.S. governments for its prominent role in responding to the SARS crisis, and for its leadership in defining the response to avian influenza A (H5N1) in Southeast Asia.  He led CDC’s response to the earthquake and cholera epidemic in Haiti, helping to rebuild the public health infrastructure and contributing to the saving of an estimated 7,000 lives.


Prior to assuming the role of Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County in June 2015, Jeff Duchin served for over 15 years as Chief of the Public Health's Communicable Disease Epidemiology & Immunization Section. Jeff trained as a Medical Epidemiologist in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) and completed the CDC's Preventive Medicine Residency program. He worked for the CDC in the National Center for Infectious Diseases, the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, and the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention before joining Public Health – Seattle & King County.


Deborah Fuller is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Washington and Division Chief of Infectious Diseases and Translational Medicine at the Washington National Primate Research Center.  Vaccines and antivirals are the primary strategies used to combat viral infections in humans.  High variation in some viruses and viral reservoris make it difficult to predict future epidemics, and due to the long timeframe between detecting a new human infection and generating a new vaccine, current strategies are inadequate for preventing the next pandemic.  In an effort to address these issues, Deborah Fuller’s work is investigating new vaccine and antiviral concepts aimed at achieving a more rapid response to combat emerging infections and broader, more universal protection a wider range of variable viruses and viruses with pandemic potential including influenza and coronaviruses.


Hilary Godwin is dean of the UW School of Public Health and professor in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences. She has 15 years of experience as an academic leader with expertise in interdisciplinary collaborative research on nanotoxicology and the chemistry of lead poisoning and its impact on public health. She is trained in chemistry and biophysics, and has supervised research programs in mechanistic toxicology and environmental health for more than 20 years. 


Geoffrey Gottlieb is an Infectious Diseases physician at the UWMC and HMC. He is the Interim Chair of the UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases and in that capacity has helped lead the UW Campus response to the novel 2019 Coronavirus. He is the Medical Director for UW EH&S/Employee Health Center, Health Sciences Immunization Program and the SLU BSL-3 & Select Agent Program. He is a member of the UW Center for Emerging & Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases and an Adjunct Professor of Global Health. He leads the UW-Senegal Research Collaboration and his research has focused on antiretroviral drug resistance and care and management of HIV in West Africa.  


Kathy Lofy is the State Health Officer and the Chief Science Officer for Washington State.  As the state's top public health doctor, her role includes advising the Governor and the Secretary of Health on issues ranging from health promotion and chronic disease prevention to emergency response. She is a pediatrician who started her public health career in 2002 as an epidemic intelligence service officer in the Department's Office of Communicable Disease Epidemiology.  Dr. Lofy has served as the state foodborne disease epidemiologist, the influenza surveillance coordinator and a medical consultant to the Offices of Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Infectious Disease.  Her main interest is investigation and control of communicable disease outbreaks.  She is also a UW Clinical Professor of Health Services.


John Lynch is an infectious diseases physician at Harborview Medical Center and an associate professor of medicine at the UW. He is the medical director of the HMC Infection Prevention & Control and Employee Health programs, leading hospital-based responses to infectious pathogens of all types. Dr. Lynch is focused on the prevention of healthcare-associated infections, including multi-drug resistant infections, as well as processes and practices tha keep healthcare workers safe while providing care. His research involves these topics in a variety of ways, but ultimately with the goal of how to maintain and to improve how healthcare systems function.


David Pigott is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. He is a faculty member in the Local Burden of Disease team, focusing on improving the spatial resolution at which disease burden and health metrics are considered, expanding and refining existing techniques to a wider number of pathogens and sequelae. He also leads work defining at-risk areas for a number of pathogens with outbreak potential and quantifying heterogeneities in global response capacity to better inform future preparedness planning.


Peter Rabinowitz is a Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, Co-Director of the UW MetaCenter for Pandemic Disease Preparedness,and director of the UW Center for One Health Research. The center explores linkages between human, animal and environmental health in a "One Health" paradigm, including: zoonotic infectious diseases at the human-animal interface, animals as "sentinels" of environmental health hazards and clinical collaboration between human health care providers and veterinarians in a species-spanning approach. A goal of the center is to serve as an incubator and organizer of research, training and clinical activities at the University of Washington related to the human-animal-ecosystem interface.


Wes Van Voorhis is the Director of the Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases, a group of 30 researchers largely based at the SLU campus of UW. He has 31 years’ experience as an infectious diseases specialist, and over 27 years’ experience in Structure-guided drug development and studies of PD/PK/ADME/ Toxicity/efficacy.  For 13 years, he has been a Co-PI of the NIAID-funded Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Diseases ( offering structural biology assistance to investigators across the globe. He’s been active with Drs. Wasserheit, Rabinowitz, and others in the formation and direction of the Metacenter for Pandemic Preparedness.


David Veesler an Assistant Professor in Biochemistry. He is both a Pew Biomedical Scholar and Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease. Dr. Veesler’s Pew project intends to design a vaccine against MERS and SARS.  His Buroughs Wellcome project will work to elucidate the mechanism of infection for Nipah virus.



Judith Wasserheit is currently Professor and Chair, of Global Health at the UW, as well as Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, and the Co-Director of the UW MetaCenter for Pandemic Diseases Preparedness and Global Health Security.  She has worked extensively at the interface of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV clinical-epidemiological research, programs and policy in the U.S. and globally.  She was the Founding Chief of the U.S. NIH’s STD Research Branch; Director of the U.S. CDC’s STD/HIV Prevention Program, and Director of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.  She has worked in Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Thailand and Zambia.  Her development of the concept of epidemiological synergy between HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections has had a major influence on HIV prevention policy and programs worldwide. 



  • Judith Wasserheit, MD, MPH; Chair UW Dept of Global Health & Professor of Global Health, Medicine, Epidemiology, Co-Director, UW MetaCenter for Pandemic Disease Preparedness and Global Health Security
  • Hilary Godwin, PhD; Dean, UW School of Public Health
  • Timothy Dellit, MD; UW Professor of Medicine, UW Medicine Chief Medical Officer


Moderator – Peter Rabinowitz, MD, MPH

     Co-Director, UW MetaCenter for Pandemic Disease Preparedness and Global Health Security,

     Professor of Global Health, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Family Medicine,

     Director, UW Center for One Health


  • George Diaz, MD; Infectious Diseases Hospitalist, Section Chief, Infectious Diseases, Providence Regional Medical Center, Everett, WA
  • Geoffrey Gottlieb, MD, PhD; UW Professor Medicine, Global Health, Interim Chair, UW Advisory

Committee on Communicable Diseases

  • Kathy Lofy, MD; State Health Officer/Chief Science Officer, Washington State Department of Health; UW Clinical Professor, Health Services

Audience Q&A


Moderator – David Pigott, DPhil

     UW Assistant Professor, Health Metrics Sciences


  • Janet Baseman, PhD, MPH; Associate Dean for Public Health Practice, UW School of Public Health, Professor, Epidemiology
  • Jeffrey Dutchin, MD; Health Officer & Chief of Communicable Disease Epidemiology & Immunization Section, Public Health – Seattle & King County, UW Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology
  • John Lynch, MD, MPH; UW Associate Professor, Medicine, Medical Director, Harborview Medical Center Infection Prevention & Control

Audience Q&A


Moderator – Wes Van Voorhis, MD, PhD

     Professor of Medicine/Infectious Diseases, Director, Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (CERID)


  • David Baker, PhD; UW Professor, Biochemistry, Director, Institute for Protein Design
  • Deborah Fuller, PhD; UW Professor, Microbiology
  • David Veesler, PhD; UW Assistant Professor of Biochemistry

Audience Q&A


  • Beth Bell, MD, MPH; UW Clinical Professor, Global Health, Former Director, CDC National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
  • Scott Dowell, MD, MPH; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Deputy Director, Global Health, Vaccine Development & Surveillance

Expanding the scope and reach of this endeavor is not possible without private support. There are many ways to become involved, including contributing to pilot project research; technology innovation; training and capacity building; and travel and exchange programs. Support of the Global Health Security and Pandemic Disease Prevention fund at any level is welcome.