Global Disease in the Spotlight at Cazenovia Forum’s 2016 Opener

19 Apr

Dr. Mark Polhemus to discuss measures to combat mosquito-borne illnesses


(Cazenovia, NY – April 5, 2016) – An authority on mosquito-borne diseases who is working on a defense against dengue fever will deliver the first Cazenovia Forum lecture of 2016 on Friday, May 6, at 7:00pm at the Catherine Cummings Theatre on Lincklaen Street.

The event is free of charge and no reservations are required. A reception will follow at the Lincklaen House next door to the theatre.

Dr. Mark Polhemus, the Director of the Center for Global Health and Translational
Science at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, will speak on “Bugs, Bites and Beasts: Global Disease on Your Doorstep.”
Polhemus is working with a grant from the U.S. Army to build a new defense against dengue fever, a tropical disease carried by mosquitoes that annually affects more than 400 million people worldwide,100 million of them with serious illness. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more than a third of the world’s population lives in areas where they are at risk for dengue infection.

Nearly 700 million people get a mosquito borne illness each year, resulting in greater than one million deaths. Recently, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that the United States is likely to see outbreaks of the Zika virus, another mosquito-borne disease, with perhaps dozens or scores of people affected. The U.S. has seen more than 350 cases of people who were infected abroad and then returned to the country but has yet to confirm a case where someone was infected within its borders.

Polhemus has a broad area of expertise in translational science (evaluation of drugs and vaccines), clinical infectious disease, and development of overseas research platforms. He spent 23 years in the military, with the last 10 years focused on developing vaccines and drugs for diseases affecting the deployed warfighter including leishmaniasis and malaria.

Currently he is the principal investigator on multiple DOD and pharma sponsored trials evaluating dengue and rabies vaccines.

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