About the topic: Stanford University, in collaboration with humanitarian NGOs, WHO, the Global Fund and the North Korean Ministry of Public Health have undertaken to develop that country's first National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory. North Korea is estimated to have the highest tuberculosis rate outside sub-Saharan Africa and is believed to have a mounting epidemic of patients infected with drug-resistant strains. This presentation will focus on the nature of the TB epidemic in North Korea, the role of this laboratory in addressing this epidemic, challenges to the laboratory's development in this isolated country and possible "dual use" concerns about the importation of equipment and expertise intended for the diagnosis and treatment of TB patients.
About the speaker: Gary Schoolnik is Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Attending Physician in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Stanford Hospital, Associate Director of the Institute for Immunology, Transplantation and Infection and Associate Dean, School of Medicine. His research laboratory studies tuberculosis and cholera using molecular, genetic and genomic methods to understand how these microbes cause disease and how that understanding might lead to improved preventive, diagnostic and treatment strategies.