January April July October
February May August November
March June September December

January 13, 2016

Focus: Basic Science
Attendance: 245

Dishing the DURT on Human TB:
Molecular Signatures of Systemic & Mucosal Vaccination and the Role of
γ9δ2 (gamma 9/delta 2) T Cells


Daniel Hoft, MD, PhD

Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, Allergy & Immunology
PI, Vaccine & Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU)
St. Louis University

Clubhouse Location:
WHSCAB Plaza & Auditorium
6:00pm — wine, cheese, networking
6:30pm — meeting convenes
7:45pm — casual buffet dinner, more networking

Dear Vacciners,

Should Santa Claus wake up on the wrong side of the snowdrift this coming December 24th and ill temperedly offer you a stocking stuffer choice between a lump of coal, phthisis, scrofula, pott's disease, consumption, or the white plague definitely go for the lump of coal.

For one thing, coal is petrified sunlight* which, of course, is much easier to carry around in your pocket than the not-petrified variety is (although Natasha Bedingfield seems to have figured out a way to do it).

But more importantly, all of those other choices are just different names for Tuberculosis. Which you don't want Santa to give you, no matter HOW naughty you may have been this year.

Sure, TB has been celebrated in Broadway blockbusters (Les Miz), operas (La Boheme, La Traviata), and has been diagnosed in celebrities including King Tut, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, D.H. Lawrence, Simon Bolivar, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Bronte, Vivian Leigh, Robert Louis Stevenson, Eugene O'Neil, and Nelson Mandela, not to mention people so famous everyone just calls them by their last name (Kafka, Hitler, Checkov, Goethe, Chopin, Dostoyevsky, Orwell, Gaughin, Keats, Spinoza, Moliere, Paganini, and Voltaire). [I found that information, by the way, on the official website of the State of Delaware. Go Delaware!].

But, despite its pedigree, 5 out of 5 public health docs still recommend that you avoid TB like the white plague.

The first problem is that you can catch TB just by spending a fair amount of time in the same (poorly ventilated) room as an infected person who is breathing, coughing, singing or -- as in these famous deathbed scenes by La Traviata's Violetta and La Boheme's Mimi -- breathing, coughing, and singing all at the same time.

Because it is so easy to catch, a lot of people do that every day. In fact approximately a third of all the humans on the planet are infected with TB and about a million die from it each year.

That includes here in Georgia, which ranked fifth highest in the United States for the number of newly reported TB cases in 2014 and had the seventh highest TB case rate among the 50 reporting states.

So this is clearly a problem that is just going to keep happening, year in and year out, until we have a much better vaccine for TB than the one we currently use.

And that is where our January VDC speaker comes in.

Dr. Hoft is studying whether gamma/delta T cells (which make up about 5% of the T-cells in your blood) can be put to work recognizing, and then shutting down, TB-infected macrophages, an important reservoir for TB. Read More About It Here. Go ahead, I'll wait until you are done reading.

Sound interesting? You betcha! So take a deep breath and register today!

Hope to see you for dinner at the Club the SECOND Wednesday in January when Daniel Hoft dishes the DURT on human TB.
-- Your friendly neighborhood VDC director/goddess

*In case you don't remember your 6th grade science class, coal comes from a time BEFORE dinosaurs walked the earth and is comprised of the solar energy which was stored in the roots, stems and leaves of ancient ferns that got themselves sequentially drowned, buried, squashed, and heated. (Do not try this at home).



February 3, 2016

Focus: History
Attendance: 365

Ten Years in the Life of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases:
From Start-up to Senior Moments


Anne Schuchat, MD (RADM, USPHS)

Principal Deputy Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Clubhouse Location:
WHSCAB Plaza and Auditorium (1440 Clifton Rd)
6:00 — wine, cheese, and networking
6:30 — cow bell rings, members and guests are challenged to progress downstairs
6:45 — fascinating talk begins
7:30 — spirited Q&A begins
7:45 — the VDC village adjourns for dinner and more networking

Dear Vacciners,
During the winter holidays we were all complaining about out-of-season hay fever problems while it was 70 degrees in Atlanta (and above freezing at the North Pole). A month later we were all afraid to complain because even though it was 18 degrees in Atlanta, we were still getting off pretty darn easy compared to our friends to the North.

So what can we learn from the roller coaster weather?

How about … Nothing is constant except change? … Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it? … It's easier to predict the past than the future? … We have 20" of data demonstrating that Atlanta is more livable than DC?

Yep… good lessons all. And that's with only one month worth of hindsight!

Imagine, if you will, TEN YEARS of hindsight. That is what we are going to get on Wednesday, February 3rd when Dr. Anne Schuchat gives her NCIRD 'Swan Song' lecture* and discusses the view she had from the bridge of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (official motto: "Hey, Hey, Whataya Say? Lets all Vaccinate Today!"); organizational home to a fair goodly chunk of our VDC membership.

Sound interesting? You betcha! Dr. Schuchat is a fabulous speaker, a great singer**, smart as a whip, really funny, and totally clear headed about the past, present, and future of our fight to make the world a better place, one dose at a time.

Hope to see you for dinner at the Club on February 3rd,
-- Your friendly neighborhood VDC director/goddess

*Swan Song: "A person's final performance or professional activity before retiring" (in this case from NCIRD). This past September Dr. Schuchat moved buildings and is now 2nd in command of the whole CDC shooting match. So before new challenges (Zika virus in Brazil, Lead poisoning in Michigan, E.coli at a Chipotle Mexican Grill near you) have even a whisper of a chance of overwriting her memories of the thrills, chills, and adolescent spills that made up life at the then nascent NCIRD, she is coming to present her Swan Song to us.

**According to Greek myth, a swan's last act is to sing. We can hope, but NO PROMISES.



March 2, 2016

Focus: N/A
Attendance: 2,976

No Meeting this Month



April 6, 2016

Focus: Way Cool Vaccine Delivery Technology
Attendance: 329

Selfie Shots:
Self-administering Influenza Vaccine Using
a Microneedle Patch

VDC Members-in-Good-Standing

Mark Prausnitz, PhD

Director, Center for Drug Design, Development, and Delivery
Georgia Institute of Technology


Nadine Rouphael, MD

Assistant Professor (Medicine)
Emory School of Medicine

Clubhouse Location:
WHSCAB Plaza and Auditorium (1440 Clifton Rd)
6:00 — wine, cheese, and networking
6:30 — cow bell rings, members and guests are challenged to progress downstairs
6:45 — fascinating talk begins
7:30 — spirited Q&A begins
7:45 — the VDC village adjourns for dinner and more networking

Dear Vacciners,
There are a lot of bizzare (to people who don't suffer from them, that is) yet common phobias out there. These include:

• Trypophobia - the fear of holes
• Alektorophobia -- the fear of chickens
• Lepidopterophobia -- the fear of butterflies
• Anthophobia -- fear of flowers
• Podophobia -- the fear of feet
• Koumpounophobia -- the fear of buttons
• Sidonglobophobia -- the fear of cotton balls
• Omphalophobia -- the fear of belly buttons
• Kinemortophobia -- the fear of zombies

But topping ALL of those is Trypanophobia -- the fear of needles

Roughly 1 in 5 people worldwide have a fear of needles that is debilitating enough to cause them to avoid medical care because simply being in the presence of a needle can lead to everything from feeling creeped out to suffering a disabling sense of impending doom to fainting and convulsions.

So, yeah, needle phobia is real. There is even an ICD-10 medical insurance code for it!

But here's the rub. While it would certainly be annoying to live a life that involved constantly having to arrange things so as to avoid being confronted with a bowl of Cheerios (fear of holes) or a three piece combo meal (fear of chicken), going to the beach (fear of feet, fear of belly buttons), leaving the urban jungle (fear of flowers, butterflies), dating someone who wears Oxford cloth shirts (fear of buttons), or works on Capitol Hill (fear of zombies) ...

... but people with needle phobias run the risk of dying from some pretty bad bugs (not to mention also being the last Echo Boomers -- aka Generation Y -- not to have tattoos). Here is a partial list:

• Cancer (HPV)
• Diptheria
• Hepatitis
• Influenza
• Meningitis
• Pertussis
• Pneumonia
• Tetnus

So wouldn't it just be super cool if some radically smart VDC members could develop an alternative way of giving vaccines that don't make people with needle phobias feel like they are starring in an over the top episode of Fear Factor?

But wait! They did, They did!!

Come to the April meeting of the Vaccine Dinner Club when VDC member in good standing Mark Prausnitz talks about the microneedle vaccine delivery patch that he and his team have developed.

Yeah, the name could use a little work (or at least that is what the marketers are going to tell Dr. Prausnitz when and if it is time for them to figure out how to convince needle phobic people to line up for something with the name "needle" in it) but the "microfuzz" vaccine delivery system (as I prefer to call it) is anything but scary in real life.

OK, Good. Not scary. But does it work? Once again, come to the April meeting and find out for yourself when VDC member in good standing Nadine Rouphael reveals the preliminary results of a clinical trial that is using microneedle (seriously y'all, 'microfuzz' is a MUCH more marketable name) patches to deliver influenza vaccine.

So register now or face the risk of coming down with a severe case of FoMo (fear of missing out), also known as Athazagoraphobia.

Hope to see you for dinner at the Club on April 6th,
-- Your friendly neighborhood Vaccine Dinner Club goddess



(THURSDAY) May 5, 2016 - Combined meeting of the VDC & Mahy Seminar

Focus: Basic Science
Attendance: 133

7th Annual Meeting of the "Mahy Seminar" The Mahy Seminar is an annual lecture featuring the globe's top virologists. It honors the outstanding career of Dr. Brain Mahy and acknowledges his unparallelled role in expanding the field of virology at the CDC and beyond.

From Neonates
to the Prime Minister with Love:
The Launch of a New Rotavirus Vaccine
in India


Dr. Roger Glass

Director, Fogarty International Center &
Associate Director for Global Health
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD
VDC Charter Member


Dr. Krishna Ella

Bharat Biotech Limited
Hyderabad, India
proud father of a VDC member


Dr. Umesh Parashar

Lead, Viral Gastroenteritis Epidemiology Team
Division of Viral Disease
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease
Atlanta, GA
active VDC member since 2000

Clubhouse Location:
WHSCAB Plaza and Auditorium (1440 Clifton Rd)
6:00 — hand washing, wine, cheese, and networking
6:30 — cow bell rings, members and guests progress downstairs
6:45 — fascinating talk begins
7:30 — spirited Q&A begins
7:45 — adjourn for more hand washing, dinner, and more networking

Dear Vacciners,
How many important things can you think of that happen on a Thursday?

Here's a few:
• The Beatles release their first single in the US: "Please, Please Me" (1963)
• The bald eagle beat out the wild turkey for America's logo (1782)
• Americans hold an annual a convivial feast to eat the loser (November)
Leonardo da Vinci born (1582)
Vogons blow up the world (hasn't happened yet)
• Ben Franklin discovered lightning (1752)
• 65 ton former dinosaur located (Drednaughtus) (2014)
• Declaration of Independence adopted (1776)
• God who rides in a chariot drawn by goats lends name to 4th day of week
The May VDC meeting will take place!! (5/5/16)

Hope to see you for dinner at the Club on THURSDAY, May 5th,
-- Your friendly neighborhood Vaccine Dinner Club President/Goddess



June - August, 2016

Summer Vacation
The VDC Membership

Focus: Rest and Relaxation
Attendance: 2,976
Clubhouse du jour: The World

Wherever there is a vaccine to develop, describe, or disseminate, a vaccine preventable disease outbreak to examine, or fun to be had with friends and family -- VDC members will be there in force!




September 7, 2016

Focus: Public Health
Attendance: 689



Dan H. Barouch, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard
Director, Center for Virology and Vaccine Research
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Clubhouse Location:
Note the "MOVEABLE FEAST" locations below
6:00pm — wine, cheese, networking - SOM Commons Area
6:30pm — meeting convenes - WHSCAB Auditorium
7:45pm — casual buffet dinner, more networking - SOM Commons Area

Dear Vacciners,
In addition to the Rio Olympics (Hello Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky! Fare you well Michael Phelps! See you later Ryan Lochte?), a few other major things happened over the summer.

First: WHSCAB Plaza was declared off limits for large gatherings. Something about structural integrity of the floor…. Not to worry though; Jane has arranged for us to gather before and after the presentations right next door in the commons area of the School of Medicine building. That means that, for the time being, our VDC meetings are going to be a Moveable Feast!

Specifically, we will begin each monthly meeting at 6:00pm by gathering in the SOM Building common area for wine/cheese/fruit and networking and then move next door to WHSCAB Auditorium when the cowbell rings at 6:30pm for an intellectual banquet of ideas, and then head back past the fountain to SOM afterwards for a casual buffet dinner and dissection of the evening's presentation.

So don't forget to wear your Fitbit because MY guess is that this is all simply some sort of sly public health initiative on the part of Emory University to ensure that we Vacciners and our guests get our steps in for the day…

NOTE: As part of the test drive for this new reality Jane has decided that, for the September meeting, she will serve dinner BEFORE the presentation, and nothing afterwards. The new normal "wine/cheese (SOM), presentation (WHSCAB), dinner (SOM)" schedule will begin in October.

Second: The CDC reported multiple outbreaks of various bad things, none of which were vaccine preventable and all of which mean that snacking on raw pancake batter is now officially considered to be a Risky Idea along with handling cute things (tiny turtles), co-habitating with mother earth things (backyard poultry), and ingesting loco-vore things (raw organic milk, alfalfa sprouts). Sigh.

Third and Worst: The first babies with Zika-related birth defects were born in the U.S.

As excerpted from this interesting Zika timeline by Lecia Bushak, Zika was first isolated in Uganda in 1947 – where it was named for Uganda's Zika Forest (Zika means "overgrown" in the Lugandan language), first described in the literature in 1952, first shown to cause human disease in 1964, and caused its first major outbreak in 2007 (island of Yap, in the Micronesian Caroline Islands, probably imported by an infected tourist who passed it on to local mosquitoes).

Since then Zika has quite thoroughly joined the arsenal of horrific diseases (yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya) carried by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and, as we have learned all too well, begun causing paralysis (Guillain-Barré syndrome) and devastating neurological trauma (microcephaly compared to normal babies, other neuro problems that might only appear later in seemingly unaffected infants).

The Good News: Unless they hitch a ride on an airplane, automobile, or ship, Ae. aegypti generally do not travel more than 500 feet from where they were born, so infected mosquitoes tend to clump in clearly defined 'neighborhoods'

The Bad News: Humans generally travel quite a bit farther than 500 feet on any given day and so new Zika 'neighborhoods' can pop up anywhere a Zika-infected human and a [previously uninfected] Ae. aegypti mosquito can interact. So far, those US neighborhoods have been restricted to Puerto Rico and Miami but here is a map of where that is likely to grow to include in the future.

The Political News: Pretty much like everything else in public health, Zika has become highly politicized. Even as the governor of Florida is worried that diagnostic help has been too slow in arriving, citizens of the Florida Keys are mounting a fierce opposition to the release of genetically modified male mosquitos whose sperm contains genes that will keep those mosquitoes' babies from surviving to adulthood and having babies of their own.

While some people might say that combatting Zika by releasing a mosquito-borne agent that damages mosquito babies so much that they can't grow up to reproduce themselves is tantamount to fighting fire with fire, some Florida Keys residents don't see it that way. As one resident said: "Hurricanes, bring them on; long-timers here seldom evacuate. Mosquitoes, well, that's the price of paradise. Zika, this too shall pass, like dengue. But science and government, I'm not so sure about."

Quote of the Day:
"The brain that should be there is not there"
(Note: This quote by Dr. Deborah Levine refers to babies infected with Zika in utero, NOT to the above-mentioned Florida Keys resident).


Funny that you should ask! For your interactive meeting pleasure Dan Barouch, our presenter at the September Vaccine Dinner Club, is the senior author of an influential article in Nature, published at the end of June, describing progress in a search for a Zika vaccine (search for it at "Vaccine protection against Zika virus from Brazil" Nature (2016, Jun 28) doi:10.1038/nature18952. PMID: 27355570.) He is also featured in this cool article in the New Yorker magazine: "The Race for a Zika Vaccine" by Siddhartha Mukherjee AND in the IAVI report available here.

So, want to hear more about Zika and the search for a vaccine directly from Dr. Barouche? Sign up TODAY for the 2016-2017 VDC season opener (and forward this message to all your interested friends and colleagues; they should come too.)

Hope to see you for dinner at the Club on September 7*,
-- Kimbi Hagen, Your friendly neighborhood VDC Director/Goddess

*Don't forget to come by SOM first at 6:00pm



October 5, 2016

Focus: History, Policy, Advocacy
Attendance: 362

How Much is Too Much?
The True Cost of Vaccines


H. Cody Meissner, MD

Chief, Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease
Professor of Pediatrics
Tufts University School of Medicine

Clubhouse Location:
Wine & Cheese: SOM Commons Area
Presentation: WHSCAB Auditorium
Moveable Feast Agenda:
6:00pm — wine, cheese, networking at SOM
6:30pm — meeting convenes at WHSCAB
7:45pm — casual buffet dinner and more networking at at SOM

Dear Vacciners,
OK… The continued high temperatures are clearly not only out of keeping with traditional bobbing for apples type Fall weather, they are apparently frying my brain because despite having spent last week making arrangements for next week's VDC meeting, somehow or other I managed to forget to formally open registration for it! And then I forgot that I forgot.

Major OOPS.

So please be WAY more calendar-savvy than I am and REGISTER NOW for next Wednesday's super boffo VDC meeting.

On July 2nd, 2014 an article by Elisabeth Rosenthal appeared in the New York Times entitled "The Price of Prevention: Vaccine Costs are Soaring." Read it before next Wednesday.

If you discount the fact that the article leads off with a photo that does A REALLY GOOD JOB of portraying the act of getting vaccinated as equivalent to starring in your own personal Hollywood slasher movie (three adults are shown pinning a frantically screaming toddler flat down on a table while a nurse jabs a big needle into his thigh) the article does a very nice job of shining a spotlight on just how horror movie scary the cost of vaccines has become in the last few years. To whet your appetite, here are the first three paragraphs:

SAN ANTONIO — There is little that Dr. Lindsay Irvin has not done for the children's vaccines in her office refrigerator: She remortgaged her home to afford their rising prices. She packed them in ice chests and moved them when her office flooded this year. She pays a company to monitor the fridge in case the temperature rises.

"The security company can call me any time of the day or night so I can go save my vaccines," said Dr. Irvin, a pediatrician. Those in the refrigerator recently cost $70,000, she said — "more than I paid for four years of medical school."

Vaccination prices have gone from single digits to sometimes triple digits in the last two decades, creating dilemmas for doctors and their patients as well as straining public health budgets. Here in San Antonio and elsewhere, some doctors have stopped offering immunizations because they say they cannot afford to buy these potentially lifesaving preventive treatments that insurers often reimburse poorly, sometimes even at a loss.

How unaffordable is unaffordable? Well, the article uses CDC data to point out that in 1986 it cost $215 to fully vaccinate a kid between birth to age 18 while in 2014 that same laudable goal now costs $1,255.

That is clearly more than some people, and a lot of doctors, can afford.

But on the other hand MasterCard could make a commercial about vaccines:
     HPV vaccine three-shot series: $450.00
     Tissues for crying child: $1.00
     Stiff drink for crying parent: $5.00
     Not having to worry that your kid will die from a preventable cancer: Priceless

So how is a vaccinophilic, public-health minded person to go about assessing the true cost of vaccines and determining how much is too much?

Simple … come to the October meeting of the Vaccine Dinner Club when Cody Meissner will contrast the vast differences in cost between several vaccines that we all know to be life savers and lead a discussion that is bound to make us all think real hard about what could happen if we don't get a better handle on vaccine costs while still being careful to maintain the financial incentive for new vaccine development.

Hope to see you for dinner at the Club on September 7*,
-- Kimbi Hagen, Your friendly neighborhood VDC Director/Goddess

*Don't forget to come by SOM first at 6:00pm

(BTW: This is my favorite MasterCard "Priceless" commercial)



November 2, 2016

Focus: Animal Vaccines
Attendance: 302

If People Can Get Chicken Pox
Can Chickens Get People Pox*?:
Viral Diseases of Domestic Poultry and Why They Matter

*No, but they can get a lot of other important viral diseases


Steve McCarter, DVM, MAM

Tyson Senior Veterinarian
AV200 Volunteer

Clubhouse du Jour:
Wine & Cheese: SOM Commons Area
Presentation: SOM 110
6:00pm — wine, cheese, networking at SOM
6:30pm — meeting convenes in the same building (i.e. SOM)
7:45pm — casual buffet dinner and more networking

Dear Vacciners,
When is the last time that you ate chicken* (or, for the vegetarians like me among us, sat at a table in which someone else was eating chicken)?

I'm guessing that it was fairly recently.

This is a pretty safe bet because chicken has been a gradually rising staple of the American diet ever since 1928 presidential campaign candidate Herbert Hoover supposedly promised "a chicken in every pot," and, in late 2013, it overtook beef as the most consumed meat in the USA.

Since then things have really started clucking. According to reference.com, 8 billion chickens were consumed in the USA in 2014, which translates into 21,917,808 chickens EVERY SINGLE DAY

Reference.com also says that Americans eat 1.25 BILLION chicken wings during the Super Bowl** weekend alone. That must make those spelling-challenged, billboard climbing cows VERY happy.

So, anyway... where do all those birds come from? Try right up the road from us in North Georgia. In fact GA is the single largest producer of broiler chickens in the USA and the 7th largest producer of eggs. According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia, that translated into 29 million pounds of chicken and 11.8 million eggs on an average DAY in 2012 generating $28 billion in annual revenue.

You know what all this means, right? .... It means that there are a whole lot more chickens than there are people in this country.

And why should that bother you?

Because, aside from a quite natural concern that they might organize and rise up against us someday, it matters because chickens are just as prone to epidemic disease as we are and if the avian equivalent of the 1918 flu pandemic were ever strike the domestic poultry population YOU COULD END UP HAVING TO EAT TOFU WHILE WATCHING THE SUPER BOWL. True statement.

Fortunately, most of the bugs that chickens can fall prey to (vs. the ones that they eat) are vaccine preventable. Equally fortunately, the grass-roots movement among upper middle class hens to keep their chicks from getting vaccinated has never really gained traction in this country so adherence to the routine avian vaccination schedule is usually pretty high.

But sometimes things go wrong and, when they do, the situation can get real ugly, real fast ...

Want to hear more about that?

Come to the November meeting of the Vaccine Dinner Club when Steve McCarter -- senior Tyson Foods veterinarian and AV200 bike ride volunteer (to raise money for AIDS vaccine research) -- takes us on a tour of what it means to be a chicken vet for one of the country's largest domestic poultry purveyors.

Hope to see you for dinner at the Club on November 2,
-- Kimbi Hagen


*Top Chicken Cooking Mistakes

**This is my own personal favorite of all time Super Bowl commercial. No chickens involved.



December 7, 2016

Focus: History
Attendance: 466

VDC Book Club Selection:
"Adventures of a Female Medical Detective: In Pursuit of Smallpox and AIDS"


Mary Guinan, MD, PhD

Professor Emerita
University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Clubhouse Location:
Room 110, School of Medicine Building
6:00pm — wine, cheese, networking
6:30pm — meeting convenes
7:45pm — Book signing, casual buffet dinner, and more networking

Dear Vacciners,
Americans are a nomadic people.

Not consistently nomadic mind you but next week approximately 49 million of us will hit the road at the roughly the same moment and travel at least 50 miles to somewhere or another that promises the chance to wage anew the annual cranberry sauce war (which side do YOU fight for BTW? Whole berry compote or the traditional jiggling tower of cranberry puree straight from the can?) and is sure to be teeming with people making (or who should be making) quietly desperate resolutions not to engage in politicized chit chat with anyone who happens to be holding a carving knife*.

So because of all the to-ing and fro-ing that is getting ready to happen next week we are opening registration for the December VDC meeting THIS week so that you can get that totally crucial registration task out of the way before you need to start focusing on your travel/escape plans. Register Now.

For Those of You Interested in HIV: Because the December meeting always coincides with World AIDS Day Week we look for a speaker who can talk about some aspect of the pandemic, now in its 35th year. This year we have hit the jackpot. Dr. Mary Guinan was part of the original team of CDC folk who investigated the first cases of what turned out to be AIDS.

For Those of You Interested in a Lot of Other Things Too: Dr. Guinan's career with the CDC did not begin nor end with the AIDS epidemic though. She was involved in a whole lot of interesting work and she has recently pulled a dozen of those stories together into the highly readable book that she will discuss (and sign for you, if you buy a copy after the talk) at this month's meeting of the 'VDC Book Club.'

Here is what Amazon.com says about Adventures of a Female Medical Detective:

"In 1974, a young doctor arrived at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with one goal in mind: to help eradicate smallpox. The only woman physician in her class in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, a two-year epidemiology training program, Mary Guinan soon was selected to join India's Smallpox Eradication Program, which searched out and isolated patients with the disease. By May of 1975, the World Health Organization declared Uttar Pradash smallpox-free.

"During her barrier-crossing career, Dr. Guinan met arms-seeking Afghan insurgents in Pakistan and got caught in the cross fire between religious groups in Lebanon. She treated some of the first AIDS patients and served as an expert witness in defense of a pharmacist who was denied employment for having HIV―leading to a landmark decision that still protects HIV patients from workplace discrimination. Randy Shilts's best-selling book on the epidemic, And the Band Played On, features her AIDS work.

"In Adventures of a Female Medical Detective, Guinan weaves together twelve vivid stories of her life in medicine, describing her individual experiences in controlling outbreaks, researching new diseases, and caring for patients with untreatable infections. She offers readers a feisty, engaging, and uniquely female perspective from a time when very few women worked in the field. Occasionally heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious, Guinan's account of her path breaking career will inspire public health students and future medical detectives―and give all readers insight into that part of the government exclusively devoted to protecting their health."

But wait, there's more! Here are the book's chapter titles:
1. My First Outbreak Investigation
2. Something to Believe In: Operation Smallpox Zero
3. A Gift of an Elephant
4. Dr. Herpes
5. Healthcare Workers and Enemy Information in a War Zone, Pakistan, 1980
6. An AIDS Needlestick in a Rundown Hotel in San Francisco, 1982
7. ACT UP Acts Up at CDC Over the Definition of AIDS for Women
8. The HIV-Infected Preacher's Wife
9. Few Safe Places
10. Expert Witness for John Doe, the Pharmacist, 1991
11. The Milk Industry Challenges CDC over the Source of a Listeriosis Outbreak
12. On Getting AIDS from a Toilet Seat and Other STD Myths and Taboos

Intrigued? Register Now!

Hope to see you for Dinner at the Book Club on December 7th

* Here is a short video (00:03:47) from the good folks at SNL demonstrating an emergency measure you can take if anyone at the table fails to channel their inner Switzerland and makes upsetting comments in your presence on Thanksgiving Day.