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Michael Osterholm – Keynote Speaker

Epidemiologist and COVID-19 Expert

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Specialist Subjects

  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Pandemics

Language

  • English

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Biography

Dr Michael Osterholm is Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

Hailed by CNN as “the infectious disease expert who has been warning us for a decade and a half that the world will face a pandemic,”, Dr. Osterholm quickly became the leading figure on the public health impact of COVID-19. A sharp critic of the complacency that led to the current global pandemic, he points to current shortfalls in our system, individual and public health strategies and an urgent need to mobilize our healthcare system.

Dr. Michael Osterholm predicted a pandemic like COVID-19 in his bestselling book, "Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs", a chillingly prescient and detailed account of the most pressing infectious diseases of our day. In Deadliest Enemy, Dr. Osterholm advocates for a plan to combat “an overwhelming army of deadly, invisible enemies” and lays out a nine-point plan to prevent “the unthinkable from the inevitable.”

Dr. Osterholm currently serves as the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences for the School of Public Health, a professor in the Technological Leadership Institute at the College of Science and Engineering, as Regents Professor, and lastly as an adjunct professor in the Medical School, all at the University of Minnesota.

Between June 2018 to May 2019, Dr, Michael Osterholm served as a Science Envoy for Health Security on behalf of the US Department of State. In 2008, he was appointed to the World Economic Forum Working Group on Pandemics. Prior to this, in 2005, he was appointed to the newly established National Science Advisor Board of Biosecurity and he served as Special Advisor to the Health and Human Services Secretary, between 2001 and 2005, on issues related to bioterrorism and public health preparedness. Before which, he served for 24 years in various roles at the Minnesota Department of Health, the last 15 as state epidemiologist and chief of the Acute Disease Epidemiology Section.

An expert in bioterrorism, Dr. Michael Osterholm provided a pointed review of America’s current state of preparedness for a bioterrorism attack in his New York Times bestselling book, "Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe". The author of more than 315 papers and abstracts, including 21 book chapters, Dr. Osterholm also serves on the boards of nine epidemiology and infectious disease journals and is a reviewer for The New England Journal of Medicine. He is a frequent consultant to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, a fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America and has received six major research awards from the NIH and the CDC.

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